Having a good teacher who is appropriately empowered in the classroom can make a difference to the lives of students. If he or she stays in education, generations of students can benefit. The good teacher is not able to make the same impact on many more students within the same amount of time. It doesn’t scale.
But we always think we can scale these things; we create curriculum, syllabus, scheme of work. We think we are scaling good teaching, schooling through creating systems of learning. And then we enforce mass education; and allow it to grow into bigger and bigger parts of the lives of our people.
What exactly are we scaling then? We might not be scaling the good things we are trying to grow; in fact as I write, good teachers are being driven to frustration by the system; good teaching is being sacrificed at the expense of needing to standardise things. We are scaling frustration, suffering and misalignment with the original intentions.