The Story of Teachers, Learners, and Technology.
The Very Best for the Very Few
It's 343 BC. A king named Phillip searches for a tutor for Alexander, his son. He strikes a deal with Aristotle, opening a boarding school for the upper crust in the Temple of the Nymphs. Aristotle teaches Alexander and classmates like Ptolemy and Cassander everything about history, philosophy, medicine, and logic. Today, history knows this pupil as genius military tactician Alexander the great, creator of an empire spanning from Greece through India.
But if you’re not royalty or in the right place at just the right time, you don't get to study under masters like Aristotle, Jesus, or da Vinci. This mentorship model is ideal, but doesn't scale. Information remains scarce.
Gutenburg: “I just read this great post on that very topic, actually. Here, I’ll send it to you.”
Information Isn't Enough
We zoom forward to 1436. Johannes Gutenburg, with an unquenchable craving for booke clubbes, invents the printing press. Books spread information at a previously unthinkable rate. Many predict the demise of schools, but schools have survived revolutions before. As it turns out, access to information isn’t enough. If it were, a library card could make an Aristotle out of any of us. To master information, we need someone to meet us where we are and guide us step-by-step to the next level. We still need teachers.
Scale, at a Price
In the 1800s, industrialization remakes education. The factory model expands the size of classrooms, reaching many times more learners than ever before. Curriculum, testing standards, and regulations calcify while the learner-teacher ratio gets less and less tenable. Teachers have to choose between being a babysitter or an academic—the middle ground disappears. Everyone knows this model isn't ideal, but it does scale.
No longer sleepless in Seattle, Hanks and Ryan find the internet brings them together.
A New Hope?
In 1989, “You’ve Got Mail!” Commercial internet arrives. We share information, social connection, and cat pictures faster than ever online. We fix education forever!
Actually, no. We could harness the web to make education personal, hands-on, and guided once again. Instead, we simply scale up the industrial education model with Learning Management Systems (LMSs) and digital textbooks.
It's like we're putting wings on a car and expecting it to fly.
The 1947 ConVairCar Model 118 barely survived a 1-hour test flight in 1947. It did not reach production.
Technology scales ideas up fast. But if we scale a broken model, things only get worse. Taking a class online makes us more outnumbered and puts us farther away from a teacher’s nurturing even than industrialized classrooms before. We have the world's information on demand, but less guidance through it than ever. Our attention spans shrink to the size of a YouTube clip. Our world is somehow more confusing and more lonely.
Let's Make a Better Way
Since 2009, Pathwright has made it our mission to multiply the impact teachers make on the world. We believe that goal means so much more than reaching masses at lower costs. To us, it means helping every teacher guide every student step-by-step with learning tailored to them. It means giving learners the controls to shape their own paths. It means the support of mentorship, accountability, and community is with you. And, yes, it means doing all this at scale, but this time with our humanity intact.
We didn’t pick the easy path (oops). We’ve been building toward human design, open teamwork, and un-lonely learning for a decade. We’ll probably be at it for decades to come. And we can’t do it without you, because Pathwright is for you.
Built with Partners.
Since 2009, we've built most major product features with Partners. We scope, finance, and test the features together in the crucible of real life use cases.
Made by Teachers.
Over half of our current full-time employees are or have been teachers. We use Pathwright to teach our own classes (naturally) and run our company.
Learners taught by educators of all kinds using Pathwright
Learning steps completed so far by learners worldwide
Meet the Humans of Pathwright
We're the team of humans who make Pathwright and help achieve its mission of multiplying the impact educators like you make on the world.
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