Learning & Education Sayings
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." ARISTOTLE


Albert Einstein: It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry.

Albert Einstein: It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.

Alvin Toffler: The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.

Anatole France: The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards

Anne Frank: Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.

Annie Sullivan: Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction.

Ariel and Will Durant: Education is the transmission of civilization.

Arthur Koestler: Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Barbara Tuchman: Learning from experience is a faculty almost never practiced.

Beatrix Potter: Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.


Ben Sweetland: We cannot hold a torch to light another's path without brightening our own.

Benjamin Jowett: We cannot seek or attain health, wealth, learning, justice or kindness in general. Action is always specific, concrete, individualized, unique.

Bertrand Russell: I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: 'The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that's fair.' In these words he epitomized the history of the human race.

Education and the Social Order

Bill Beattie: The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think - rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men.

Carl Rogers: If we value independence, if we are disturbed by the growing conformity of knowledge, of values, of attitudes, which our present system induces, then we may wish to set up conditions of learning which make for uniqueness, for self-direction, and for self-initiated learning.

Charlotte Bronte: Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education; they grow there, firm as weeds among rocks.

Clarence Darrow: With all their faults, trade unions have done more for humanity than any other organization of men that ever existed. They have done more for decency, for honesty, for education, for the betterment of the race, for the developing of character in men, than any other association of men.

Dean William R. Inge: The aim of education is the knowledge not of fact, but of values.

Douglas Adams: Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.

Edith Hamilton: It has always seemed strange to me that in our endless discussions about education so little stress is laid on the pleasure of becoming an educated person, the enormous interest it adds to life. To be able to be caught up into the world of thought -- that is to be educated.

Edith Hamilton: To be able to be caught up into the world of thought -- that is educated.

Epictetus: It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.

Epictetus: We must not believe the many, who say that only free people ought to be educated, but we should rather believe the philosophers who say that only the educated are free. Discourses

Eric Hoffer: In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.

Education Sayings

Ethel Barrymore: You must learn day by day, year by year, to broaden your horizon. The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about, the more you have left when anything happens.

Flannery O'Conner: Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. There's many a best-seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.

Fritz Redl: Boredom will always remain the greatest enemy of school disciplines. If we remember that children are bored, not only when they don't happen to be interested in the subject or when the teacher doesn't make it interesting, but also when certain working conditions are out of focus with their basic needs, then we can realize what a great contributor to discipline problems boredom really is. Research has shown that boredom is closely related to frustration and that the effect of too much frustration is invariably irritability, withdrawal, rebellious opposition or aggressive rejection of the whole show. When We Deal With Children

George Bernard Shaw: A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.

George Peabody: Education: a debt due from present to future generations.

George Santayana: Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Gloria Steinem: The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.

Goethe: Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.

Helen Keller: Have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut you in and the great ship, tense and anxious, groped her way toward the shore with plummet and sounding-line, and you waited with beating heart for something to happen? I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without compass or sounding line, and no way of knowing how near the harbor was. "Light! Give me light!" was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour.

Henry B. Adams: A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.

Henry B. Adams: Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.

Henry Steele Commager: Change does not necessarily assure progress, but progress implacably requires change. Education is essential to change, for education creates both new wants and the ability to satisfy them.

Henry Ward Beecher: There is no greater crime than to stand between a man and his development; to take any law or institution and put it around him like a collar, and fasten it there, so that as he grows and enlarges, he presses against it till he suffocates and dies.

James Baldwin: Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.

John Burroughs: Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones. It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral.

John Dewey: Education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.


John Dewey: The aim of education is to enable individuals to continue their education ... (and) the object and reward of learning is continued capacity for growth. Now this idea cannot be applied to all the members of a society except where intercourse of man with man is mutual, and except where there is adequate provision for the reconstruction of social habits and institutions by means of wide stimulation arising from equitably distributed interests. And this means a democratic society.

John Dewey: I believe that education is the fundamental method of social progress and reform. All reforms which rest simply upon the law, or the threatening of certain penalties, or upon changes in mechanical or outward arrangements, are transitory and futile.... But through education society can formulate its own purposes, can organize its own means and resources, and thus shape itself with definiteness and economy in the direction in which it wishes to move.... Education thus conceived marks the most perfect and intimate union of science and art conceivable in human experience. My Pedagogic Creed, 1897

John F. Kennedy: Remember that our nation's first great leaders were also our first great scholars.

John Powell: The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.

Jonathan Kozol: Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. On Being a Teacher

Lord Brougham: Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.

Lou Ann Walker: Theories and goals of education donít matter a whit if you donít consider your students to be human beings.

Maria Mitchell: Study as if you were going to live forever; live as if you were going to die tomorrow.

Maria Mitchell: We have a hunger of the mind which asks for knowledge of all around us, and the more we gain, the more is our desire; the more we see, the more we are capable of seeing.

Maria Montessori: Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.

Marian Wright Edelman: Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.

Mark Twain: All schools, all colleges, have two great functions: to confer, and to conceal, valuable knowledge. The theological knowledge which they conceal cannot justly be regarded as less valuable than that which they reveal. That is, when a man is buying a basket of strawberries it can profit him to know that the bottom half of it is rotten. 1908, notebook

Mark Twain: Many public-school children seem to know only two dates--1492 and 4th of July; and as a rule they don't know what happened on either occasion.

Mark Twain - attributed in error: When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

Mary Pettibone Poole: To repeat what others have said, requires education, to challenge it, requires brains.

Mohandas K. Gandhi: If your heart acquires strength, you will be able to remove blemishes from others without thinking evil of them.


Mortimer Adler: In the case of good books, the point is not how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.

Mortimer Adler: The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live.

Nelson Mandela: Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

Pablo Picasso: All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.

Patricia Neal: A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though awakens your own expectations.

Patricia Neal: A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations.

Paulo Freire: Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it beocmes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.

Pete Seeger: Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don't.

Rabbinic saying: Don't limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.

Rachel Carson: If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.

Ralph Waldo Emerson: Life is a succession of lessons, which must be lived to be understood.

Ralph Waldo Emerson: There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion . . . It is the harder because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

Ralph Waldo Emerson: Skill to do comes of doing.

Richard Bach: Learning is finding out what we already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers and teachers.

Robert Fulghum: All I really need to know ... I learned in kindergarten.

Robert Green Ingersoll: It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense.

Roger Lewin: Too often we give our children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.

Russell Baker: An educated person is one who has learned that information almost always turns out to be at best incomplete and very often false, misleading, fictitious, mendacious - just dead wrong.

Saint Francis de Sales: You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; and just so, you learn to love by loving. All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves.

Samuel Gompers: What does labor want? We want more schoolhouses and less jails; more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures, to make manhood more noble, womanhood more beautiful, and childhood more happy and bright.

Simone Weil: The joy of learning is as indispensable in study as breathing is in running. Where it is lacking there are no real students, but only poor caricatures of apprentices who, at the end of their apprenticeship, will not even have a trade.

St. Francis Xavier: Give me the children until they are seven and anyone may have them afterward.

Susan B. Anthony: If all the rich and all of the church people should send their children to the public schools they would feel bound to concentrate their money on improving these schools until they met the highest ideals.

Thomas H. Huxley: Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever or whatever abysses nature leads, or you will learn nothing.


Thomas Jefferson: Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.

Thucydides: History is Philosophy teaching by examples.

Unknown: Some children's answers to church school questions - from the Church of England:

Vernon Cooper: These days people seek knowledge, not wisdom. Knowledge is of the past, wisdom is of the future.

Virgil: As the twig is bent the tree inclines.

Virginia Woolf: To enjoy freedom, if the platitude is pardonable, we have of course to control ourselves. We must not squander our powers, helplessly and ignorantly, squirting half the house in order to water a single rose-bush; we must train them, exactly and powerfully, here on the very spot.

Virginia Woolf: The first duty of a lecturer: to hand you after an hour's discourse a nugget of pure truth to wrap up between the pages of your notebooks, and keep on the mantlepiece forever.

Wendy Kaminer: Only people who die very young learn all they really need to know in kindergarten.

Will Durant: Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

William Butler Yeats: Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

William Ellery Channing: I do not look on a human being as a machine, made to be kept in action by a foreign force, to accomplish an unvarying succession of motions, to do a fixed amount of work, and then to fall to pieces at death, but as a being of free spiritual powers; and I place little value on any culture but that which aims to bring out these, and to give them perpetual impulse and expansion.

William Ellery Channing: But the ground of a man's [sic] culture lies in his nature, not in his calling. His powers are to be unfolded on account of their inherent dignity, not their outward direction. He is to be educated, because he is a man, not because he is to make shoes, nail, or pins.

William James: Cramming seeks to stamp things in by intense application immediately before the ordeal. But a thing thus learned can form but few associations.

Winston Churchill: It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.

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