To Advance Equity, Education Marketers Must First Understand It. Here’s How.

By May 19, 2023May 23rd, 2023No Comments
student sitting at classroom desk with chin in hand and neutral expression

student sitting at classroom desk with chin in hand and neutral expression

Are your products and services, professional development programs and marketing efforts helping schools achieve equity for all students?

Education vendors play a critical role in ensuring that students from all backgrounds, identities and abilities thrive. Yet, business-to-education (B2E) marketers often struggle to recognize the root causes and persistence of educational inequity.

In a recent CB&A Expert Series webinar, Soumya Palreddy, Ph.D. and Ian Lowe, MA, co-founders of the Palreddy-Lowe Learning Lab joined me for an inspiring conversation centered around steps education vendors can take to recognize the origins and impact of inequity in schools.

Watch the event replay: How Understanding Equity Can Improve Education Products and Services

One of the most important steps Palreddy and Lowe highlighted is asking thoughtful questions that are rooted in structural ideology—a belief system that attributes educational disparities to inequitable access and opportunity inside and outside of school.

To help education marketers and vendors make the shift to a structural ideology approach, we outlined some sample questions our guest hosts shared below.

Adopting a Structural Ideology: Questions for Education Vendors

Use these questions to help your organization make the shift to a structural ideology—and advance equity in education.

  • What are some of the barriers or challenges districts could encounter when implementing our solution(s)? How can we address the root cause, and roll things out in a more equitable way?
  • Can our product or service be used to aggregate data to “sort” students in ways that perpetuate inequity, or even to create “clusters” of information that could be misconstrued? What context might be missing from the data?
  • What’s the worst consequence of our best idea? Is there potential for our solution(s) to be misapplied? Could it exacerbate existing inequities?
  • Could our product or service be used as a tool for hyper-surveillance, or to closely track students under the guise of compliance?
  • How can our product or service help districts foster a culture of care?
  • In what ways can our offerings be co-created alongside a diverse range of educators and students? How can we better collaborate?

We must remember that shifting to a structural ideology is not an overnight fix. Palreddy and Lowe offered helpful terminology and prompts to explore equity in daily practice that will give your organization a good foundation.

Enjoyed this post? Watch the event replay for more strategies that will help your organization work alongside schools to create an equitable future for generations of students and educators.