A few words (81 quotes) from famous people on Education

Bird Droppings May 31, 2021

A few words (81 quotes) from famous people on Education

A number of years ago I went looking for quotes on education as I was writing one morning happened to be June 8, 2004. As I gathered these together, I thought to myself one day I will share these with others and so a few days after local High School graduations here they go. These are the quotes I found that morning for whatever reason. Some are significantly meaningful others are great and anything about education should at least be read.

“The principal goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done — men who are creative, inventive and discoverers.” Jean Piaget

“A college education never hurt anybody who was willing to learn after he got it.” Author Unknown

“A human being is not attaining his full heights until he is educated.” Horace Mann

“A wise system of education will at last teach us how little man yet knows, how much he has still to learn.” John Lubbock

“An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t.” Anatole France

“Education is a private matter between the person and the world of knowledge and experience, and has little to do with school or college.” Lillian Smith

“Education is a progressive discovery of our ignorance.” Will Durant

“Education is a social process … Education is growth…. Education is, not a preparation for life; education is life itself.” John Dewey

“Education is an admirable thing, but nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” Oscar Wilde

“Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire.” William Yeats

“Education is not merely a means for earning a living or an instrument for the acquisition of wealth. It is an initiation into life of spirit, a training of the human soul in the pursuit of truth and the practice of virtue.” Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

“Education is not received. It is achieved.” Author Unknown

“Education is not to reform students or amuse them or to make them expert technicians. It is to unsettle their minds, widen their horizons, inflame their intellects, and teach them to think straight, if possible.” Robert M. Hutchins

“Education is that which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.” Ambrose Bierce

“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.” Robert Frost

“Education is the fire-proofer of emotions.” Frank Crane

“Education is the period during which you are being instructed by somebody you do not know, about something you do not want to know.” Gilbert K. Chesterton

“Education is the power to think clearly, the power to act well in the worlds work, and the power to appreciate life.” Brigham Young

“Education is too important to be left solely to the educators.” Francis Keppel

“Education makes people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.” Henry Peter Brougham

“Education would be so much more effective if its purpose were to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they don’t know, and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it.” Sir William Haley

“Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, –the balance-wheel of the social machinery.” Horace Mann

“Education, we see, is not merely gaining knowledge or skills helpful toward productive work, though certainly that is a part of it. Rather it is replenishment and an expansion of the natural thirst of the mind and soul. Learning is a gradual process of growth, each step building upon the other. It is a process whereby the learner organizes and integrates not only facts but attitudes and values. The Lord has told us that we must open our minds and our hearts to learn. There is a Chinese proverb: Wisdom is as the moon rises, perceptible not in progress but in result. As our knowledge is converted to wisdom, the door to opportunity is unlocked.” Barbara W. Winder

“Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.” Thomas Jefferson

“Genius without education is like silver in the mine.” Ben Franklin

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Chinese Proverb

“He then learns that in going down into the secrets of his own mind he has descended into the secrets of all minds.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“He, who opens a school door, closes a prison.” Victor Hugo

“How can we hope to remain economically competitive in a world in which…90% of Dutch high-school students take advanced math courses and 100% of teachers in Germany have double majors, while the best we can say about our pocket of excellence is that 75% of [American] students have learned to critique tactfully?” Barbara J. Alexander

“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” H. G. Wells

“I am entirely certain that twenty years from now we will look back at education as it is practiced in most schools today and wonder that we could have tolerated anything so primitive.” John W. Gardner

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” Mark Twain

“I wonder whether if I had an education, I should have been more or less a fool that I am.” Alice James

“If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin

“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” Derek Bok

“Intelligence appears to be the thing that enables a man to get along without education. Education enables a man to get along without the use of his intelligence.” Albert Edward Wiggam

“It is among the commonplaces of education that we often first cut off the living root and then try to replace its natural functions by artificial means. Thus we suppress the child’s curiosity and then when he lacks a natural interest in learning he is offered special coaching for his scholastic coaching for his scholastic difficulties. Alice Duer Miller

“It is in fact nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curious of inquiry. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty. Albert Einstein

“It is our American habit if we find the foundations of our educational structure unsatisfactory to add another story or wing. We find it easier to add a new study or course or kind of school than to recognize existing conditions so as to meet the need.” John Dewey

“It is what we learn after we think we know it all, that counts.” Author Unknown

“Jails and prisons are the complement of schools; so many less as you have of the latter, so many more must you have of the former.” Horace Mann

“Learned Institutions ought to be favorite objects with every free people. They throw that light over the public mind which is the best security against crafty & dangerous encroachments on the public liberty.” James Madison

“Learning is like rowing upstream. Advance or lose all.” Anonymous

“Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.” John F. Kennedy

“Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandbox. These are the things I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Do not hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Do not take things that are not yours. Say you are sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Live a balanced life. Learn some and think some and draw and sing and dance and play and work every day some. Take a nap in the afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the plastic cup. The roots go down and the plant goes up, and nobody really knows why, but we are all like that. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup–they all die. So do we. And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you learned, the biggest word of all: look. Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The golden rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and sane living. Think of what a better world it would be if we all had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and other nations always to put things back where we found them and cleaned up our own messes. And it is still true; no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.” Robert Fulghum, We Learned It All in Kindergarten

“My father must have had some elementary education for he could read and write and keep accounts inaccurately.” George Bernard Shaw

“No one wants a good education. Everyone wants a good degree.” Lee Rudolph

“No use to shout at them to pay attention. If the situations, the materials, the problems before the child do not interest him, his attention will slip off to what does interest him, and no amount of exhortation of threats will bring it back.” John Holt

“Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.” Henry Brooks Adams

“Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think.” Benjamin Disraeli

“Only the educated are free.” Epictetus

“Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.” John F. Kennedy

“Shortchange your education now and you may be short of change the rest of your life.” Author Unknown

“Television commercials are educational. They teach you how stupid advertisers think you are.” Author Unknown

“The benefits of education and of useful knowledge, generally diffused through a community, are essential to the preservation of a free government.” Sam Houston

“The best current evidence is that media are mere vehicles that deliver instruction but do not influence student achievement any more than the truck that delivers groceries causes change in our nutrition.” Richard Clark

“The best education in the world is that got by struggling to get a living.” Wendell Phillips

“The chief reason for going to school is to get the impression fixed for life that there is a book side for everything.” Robert Frost

“The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living from the dead. Aristotle

“The highest result of education is tolerance.” Helen Keller

“The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn.” John Lubbock

“The knowledge of truth, combined with the proper regard for it and its faithful observance, constitutes true education.” Joseph F. Smith

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.” Mark Twain

“The principal goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done – men who are creative, inventive and discoverers.” Jean Piaget

“The real object of education is to have a man in the condition of continually asking questions.” Bishop Creighton

“The truly educated man is that rare individual who can separate reality from illusion.” Author Unknown

“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“There is nothing so stupid as an educated man, if you get off the thing that he was educated in.” Will Rogers

“Tis education forms the common mind; just as the twig is bent, the tree’s inclined.” Alexander Pope

“To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” Theodore Roosevelt

“Universities should be safe havens where ruthless examination of realities will not be distorted by the aim to please or inhibited by the risk of displeasure.” Kingman Brewster President, Yale University

“Upon the education of the people of this country the fate of this country depends.” Benjamin Disraeli

“Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people may be engaged in. That everyone may receive at least a moderate education appears to be an objective of vital importance. – Abraham Lincoln

“We are students of words; we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and recitation rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We do not learn by inference and deduction and the application of mathematics to philosophy, but by direct intercourse and sympathy.” Henry David Thoreau

“What we call education and culture is for the most part nothing but the substitution of reading for experience, of literature for life, of the obsolete fictitious for the contemporary real.” George Bernard Shaw

“You can lead a boy to college, but you cannot make him think.” Elbert Hubbard

After eighty-one quotes or so on education I will keep it simple. In the nearly twenty years I have taught in high schools here in Ga and have worked with many students of all levels and capabilities. I have watched thousands walk across the stage at graduation that many said would not. Several come to mind. I have built friendships that continue today and will continue for many years with students and faculty. Sadly, I can say in my twenty plus years I have ended my droppings the same going back to September 11, 2001 when I first came back to teaching, please keep all in harm’s way on your minds and in your hearts, namaste.

 My family and friends I do not say this lightly,

Mitakuye Oyasin

(We are all related)


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