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Educational Quotes

Education Quotes and Educational Books

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It is appalling how education tries to reduce all children to the same level mentally. There are just as many degrees and kinds of intelligence as there are children.

-L. Ron Hubbard

I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built upon the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think. Whereas if the child is left to himself, he will think more and better, if less "showily". Let him come and go freely, let him touch real things and combine his impressions for himself... Teaching fills the mind with artificial associations that must be got rid of before the child can develop independent ideas out of actual experiences.
Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller's mentor and friend.

School is established, not in order that it should be convenient for the children to study, but that teachers should be able to teach in comfort. The children’s conversations, motion, merriment are not convenient for the teacher, and so in the schools, which are built on the plan of prisons, ... are prohibited.   Count Leo Tolstoy
It is, in fact, nothing
short of a miracle that the modern methods of education have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wrack and ruin without fail. 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. To the contrary, I believe that it would be possible to rob even a healthy beast of prey of its voraciousness, if it were possible, with the aid of a whip, to force the beast to devour continuously, even when not hungry, especially if the food, handed out under such coercion, were to be selected accordingly.
Albert Einstein

The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately... education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did, it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence. in Grosvenor Square.
Oscar Wilde

My schooling not only failed to teach me what it professed to be teaching, but prevented me from being educated to an extent which infuriates me when I think of all I might have learned at home by myself. George Bernard Shaw

The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.

School days, I believe, are the unhappiest in the whole span of human existence. They are full of dull, unintelligible tasks, new and unpleasant ordinances, and brutal violations of common sense and common decency. H.L. Mencken

Whenever is found what is called a paternal government, there is found state education. It has been discovered that the best way to insure implicit obedience is to commence tyranny in the nursery.
Benjamin Disraeli

The founding fathers in their wisdom decided that children were an unnatural strain on their parents. So they provided jails called school, equipped with tortures called education.
John Updike

Learning is finding out what you 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, teachers.
Richard Bach Illusions

In my opinion the prevailing systems of education are all wrong, from the first stage to the last stage. Eduation begins where it should terminate, and youth, instead of being led to the development of their faculties by the use of their senses, are made to acquire a great quantity of words, expressing the ideas of other men instead of comprehending their own faculties, or becoming acquainted with the words they are taught or the ideas the words should convey.
William Duane "Journal of the Senate of the Commonwealth of Kentucky," 1822

There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison. William Glasser

It is the State which educates its citizens in civic virtue, gives them a consciousness of their mission and welds them into unity.
Benito Mussolini; from "The Political and Social Doctrine of Fascism," 1932.

Teachers are directed to instruct their pupils... and to awaken in them a sense of their responsibility toward the community of the nation.
Bernhard Rust, Nazi Minister of Education; from "Racial Instruction and the National Community," 1935.

Education rears disciples, imitators, and routinists, not pioneers of new ideas and creative geniuses. The schools are not nurseries of progress and improvement, but conservatories of tradition and unvarying modes of thought.
Ludwig von Mises

Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming where everyone is interdependent.
John Dewey

I believe that the testing of the student's achievements in order to see if he meets some criterion held by the teacher, is directly contrary to the implications of therapy for significant learning.
Carl Rogers

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

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

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

Education should not be associated with scholasticism. There are men who have never seen the inside of a university who are superior to those and worth more to society than those who carried away the highest honors. Herbert Spencer spent three years at school in all his life. Spinoza spent a very few years and then was expelled. Francis Bacon, the man who gave us all the fundamentals of what we call now the scientific method, went to school three years, revolted against Aristotle and left the halls of learning in a huff. Actually, as one walks down the halls of learning and looks at the busts of great, therein, he is struck by the fact that almost none were formally educated but took the world for their texts and professors. One might almost say that a professional educator is one who worships a dead illiterate. And one, with some research, might validly conclude that the surest way to succeed in any profession is to study something else at school.  
L. Ron Hubbard

It seems to me that anything that can be taught to another is relatively inconsequential, and has little or no significant influence on behavior. I realise increasingly that I am only interested in learnings which significantly influence behavior. I have come to feel that the only learning which significantly influences behavior is self-discovered, self-appropriated learning. Such self-discovered learning, truth that has been personally appropriated and assimilated in experience, cannot be directly communicated to another. As a consequence of the above, I realize that I have lost interest in being a teacher.   - Carl Rogers

It is tempting to impose our goals on other people, particularly on children or our subordinates. It is tempting for society to try to impose its priorities on everybody. The strategy will however be self-defeating if our goals, or society's goals, do not fit the goals of the others. We may get our way but we don't get their learning. They may have to comply but they will not change. We have pushed out their goals with ours and stolen their purposes. It is a pernicious form of theft which kills the will to learn.
Charles Handy

By bells and many other similar techniques they (schools) teach that nothing is worth finishing. The gross error of this is progressive: if nothing is worth finishing then by extension nothing is worth starting either. Few children are so thick-skulled they miss the point.

Teaching means different things in different places, but seven lessons are universally taught from Harlem to Hollywood Hills. They constitute a national curriculum you pay for in more ways than you can imagine, so you might as well know what it is.

1. Confusion 2. Class Position 3. Indifference 4. Emotional Dependency 5. Intellectual Dependency 6. Provisional Self-Esteem 7. One Can't Hide. It is the great triumph of compulsory, government monopoly mass-schooling that among even the best of my fellow teachers, and among even the best of my students' parents, only a small number can imagine a different way to do things
John Taylor Gatto

Childhood placed at a tangent to adulthood, perceived as special and magical, precious and dangerous at once, has turned into some volatile stuff - hydrogen, or mercury, which has to be contained. The separate condition of the child has never been so bounded by thinking, so established in law as it is today......How we treat children really tests who we are, fundamentally conveys who we hope to be.
Marina Warner

Children present the best evidence for a psychology of providence. Here I mean more than providential miracles, those amazing tales of children falling from high ledges without harm, buried under earthquake debris and surviving. Rather, I am referring to the humdrum miracles when the mark of character appears. All of a sudden and out of nowhere a child shows who she is, what he must do. These impulsions of destiny frequently are stifled by dysfunctional perceptions and unreceptive surroundings, so that calling appears in the myriad symptoms of difficult, self-destructive, accident-prone, 'hyper' children - all words invented by adults in defence of their misunderstanding.

Often it was not in school, but outside of it - in extracurricular activities or during time spent altogether away from school - that calling appeared. It is as if the image in the heart in so many cases is hampered by the program of tuition and its time bound regularity.
James Hillman

We live in a hierarchical world in which we defend ourselves ....from our eternal infancy and childhood by insisting on a graded, necessary elevation through learning and technological sophistication out of the child into the adult. This is not a true initiation that values both the previous form of existence and the newly attained one; it is a defence against the humiliating reality of the child.

Education means "to lead out." We seem to understand this as leading away from childhood, but maybe we could think of it as eliciting the wisdom and talents of childhood itself. As A.S.Neill, founder of the Summerhill School, taught many years ago, we can trust that the child already has talents and intelligence. We believe that the child intellectually is a tabula rasa, a blank blackboard, but maybe the child knows more than we suspect.

An eternal question about children is, how should we educate them? Politicians and educators consider more school days in a year, more science and math, the use of computers and other technology in the classroom, more exams and tests, more certification for teachers, and less money for art. All of these responses come from the place where we want to make the child into the best adult possible, not in the ancient Greek sense of virtuous and wise, but in the sense of one who is an efficient part of the machinery of society. But on all these counts, soul is neglected.
Thomas Moore

I think children can be very cruel especially in adolescence and if you are slow, and I was (I was in a school which was quite competitive) you do get a lot of slamming about from the other kids. I don't know about girls, but I know that boys are very cruel and very tough. It built up a tremendous resentment in me because I was also bad at sport and athletics and all I could do was play the piano. So I always got the sense in my adolescent years that 'Oh, Hopkins, you know he's, well he's not worth much, or he's a failure.
Anthony Hopkins

The opportunity to develop and practise social skills in school is quite limited. Children spend nearly all their time in school with other children born during the same academic year as themselves, and a great deal of time outside school as well. In school, there is little social contact with younger or older children and even less with adults. It is easy to see how peer mores, values and codes of behaviour become entrenched, resulting in considerable pressure to conform and the threat of ostracism or exclusion from the group for those who do not. Moreover, up to one and a half hours a day in school is specifically set aside for social recreation in the playground, where children are thrown together with nothing much to do. It is not surprising that playground hierarchies emerge and bullying is rife. Alan Thomas

The consequence is that the 'social' skills acquired are those which may be essential for survival in school but have little applicability in the outside world. There is virtually no opportunity to relate socially to adults in school in order to learn wider social skills. Ironically, such skills can only be learned outside school hours. Teachers do, of course, set up social scenarios and discuss with children how to behave in given social circumstances. But these are no substitute for learning through real-life, dynamic social contact.
Rabindranath Tagore School forcibly snatches away children from a world full of the mystery of God's own handiwork, full of the suggestiveness of personality. It is a mere method of discipline which refuses to take into account the individual. It is a manufactory specially designed for grinding out uniform results. It follows an imaginary straight line of the average in digging its channel of education. But life's line is not the straight line, for it is fond of playing the see-saw with the line of average, bringing upon its head the rebuke of the school. For according to the school life is perfect when it allows itself to be treated as dead, to be cut into symmetrical conveniences. And this was the cause of my suffering when I was sent to mind had to accept the tight-fitting encasement of the school which, being like the shoes of a mandarin woman, pinched and bruised my nature on all sides and at every movement. I was fortunate enough in extricating myself before insensibility set in.  - Rabindranath Tagore
For thousands of years, in thousands of places, families educated their own. This tradition changed not because a better method was found but because economic conditions required it. To work one had to lreave one's children; one's children, furthermore, had to be trained for tasks no-one in their purview could be seen doing. For these reasons institutionalised schooling was invented' and while it adequately addressed a set of economic problems it inspired a new set of human ones that are psychological, emotional, and even spiritual in nature.

I do not pine for a different place and time. I only point out what we have traded off. I think certain good things are recoverable, though without the life that once surrounded them they must inevitably take on different meanings. One of these is the tradition of parental and communal responsibility for the daily instruction of the young. Today this is denied us because teaching has been institutionalised, a convenience in a time of industry and profit when citizen-labourers perform economic functions more efficiently without children present. But for whom is such a state of affairs indeed convenient?

Learning theory tells us to teach children as individuals who learn in their own unique manner. The finest possible curriculum is precisely the one that starts with each child's singular means of learning. Instruction and guidance are best provided by those with an intimate understanding of the individual child and a deep commitment to the child's education. these principles derive not merely from the homeschooling movement but from contemporary research into how children learn. They are not merely adages fabricated by homeschoolers but precepts grounded in a science that should inspire us to reconsider both our roles as parents and the shape of public education.
David Guterson

School was the unhappiest time of my life and the worst trick it ever played on me was to pretend that it was the world in miniature. For it hindered me from discovering how lovely and delightful and kind the world can be, and how much of it is intelligible.  - E.M. Forester

What use is it to pile task on task and prolong the days of labour, if at the close the chief object is left unattained? It is not the fault of the teachers -- they work only too hard already. The combined folly of a civilization that has forgotten its own roots is forcing them to
shore up the tottering weight of an educational structure that is built upon sand. They are doing for their pupils the work which the pupils themselves ought to do. For the sole true end of education is simply this: to teach men how to learn for themselves; and whatever instruction fails to do this is effort spent in vain.
Dorothy L. Sayers

The single most important contribution education can make to a child's development is to help him towards a field where his talents best suit him, where he will be satisfied and competent. We've completely lost sight of that. Instead we subject everyone to an education where, if you succeed, you will be best suited to be a college professor... And we evaluate everyone along the way according to whether they meet that narrow standard of success. We should spend less time ranking children and more time helping
them identify their natural competencies and gifts, and cultivate those.

There are hundreds and hundreds of ways to succeed and many, many different abilities that will help you get there.

We should use kids' positive states to draw them into learning in the
domains where they can develop competencies....You learn at your best when you have something you care about and can get pleasure from being engaged in.
Howard Gardner

Everyone, at present, is in favour of having students learn the
fundamentals. For most people, 'the three R's', or some variation of them, represent what is fundamental to a learner. However, if one observes a learner and asks oneself, "What is it that this organism needs without which he cannot thrive?", it is impossible to come up with the answer, "the three R's".

English is not history and history is not science and science is not art and art is not music, and art and music are minor subjects and English, history and science major subjects, and a subject is something you 'take' and when you have taken it, you have 'had' it, and if you have 'had' it, you are immune and need not take it again. (The Vaccination Theory of Education?)  Postman & Weingartner

Mark Twain
There is nothing training cannot do. Nothing is above its reach. It can turn bad morals to good; it can destroy bad principles and recreate good ones; it can lift men to angelship.

Lord Chesterfield
The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in a closet.

Agustin Marissa
Education is bitter but the fruit is sweet.

W. B. Yeats
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

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

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.

B.B. King
The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.

Angela Schwindt
While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
I pay the schoolmaster, but 'tis the schoolboys that educate my son.

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

James Baldwin
A child cannot be taught by anyone who despises him, and a child cannot afford to be fooled.

Alec Bourne
It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated.

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

Ralph Waldo Emerson
We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bellyfull of words and do not know a thing. The things taught in schools and colleges are not an education, but the means of education.

Only the educated are free.

Malcolm Forbes
Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.

Robert Frost
Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper.

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

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

Richard Bach
Learning is finding out what you already know

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.

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

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.

Kahlil Gibran
I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.

Robert F. Goheen
If you have both feet planted on level ground, then the university has failed you.

Joseph Joubert
To teach is to learn twice.

The purpose of a liberal education is to make one's mind a pleasant place to spend one's leisure.

Laurence Lee
The world does not pay for what a person knows. But it pays for what a person does with what he knows.

Galileo Galilei
I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him.

Hellen Keller
College isn't the place to go for ideas.

Sir William Haley
Education would be much more effective if its purpose was to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they do not know, and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it.

Well-known Homeschoolers include George Washington, Abraham Lincoln,   L. Ron Hubbard, Thomas Edison, Thomas Jefferson, Margaret Mead, Jane Austen, and the Bronte sisters.

More Education Quotes

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 10:1

A child, like all other human beings, has inalienable rights. Lucretia Mott

Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is. Isaac Asimov

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

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

I suppose it is because nearly all children go to school nowadays, and have things arranged for them, that they seem so forlornly unable to produce their own ideas.
Agatha Christie

What we learn to do, we learn by doing.
Thomas Jefferson

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him to find it within himself

As long as children and young men and women find pleasure in study, they will continue studying throughout life – and upon that depends their happiness.
L. Ron Hubbard

Natural ability without education has more often raised a man to glory and virtue than education without natural ability.

Talent develops in tranquillity, character in the full current of human life.

How is it that little children are so intelligent and men so stupid? It must be education that does it.
Alexandre Dumas

Children do not need to be made to learn about the world, or shown how. They want to, and they know how. John Holt

The truth is that schools don't really teach anything except how to obey orders. John Taylor Gatto 

There is, on the whole, nothing on earth intended for innocent people so horrible as a school. George Bernard Shaw

It is an iron law of education that rigid systems produce rigid people, and flexible systems produce flexible people.  Roland Meighan

It is absurd and anti-life to move from cell to cell at the sound of a gong for every day of your natural youth in an institution that allows you no privacy and even follows you into the sanctuary of your home demanding that you do its ‘homework’.  John Taylor Gatto
The 145 year-old system we are still trying to use after 145 years of failure must be scrapped and replaced. Small improvements, even if attainable, will not stave off collapse.  Leslie A. Hart
It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it.  Jacob Brownowski
Take away paradox from the thinker and you have a professor.  Kirkegaard
Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.  E.M. Forster
We prefer that they [the children] should never say they have learned botany or conchology, geology or astronomy. The question is not, - how much does the youth know when he has finished his education - but how much does he care and about how many orders of things does he care? Charlotte Mason
In the year 2000 an illiterate person will not be someone who can't read or write, but someone who is not able to learn, unlearn and learn again.  Alvin Toffler
No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure. Emma Goldman
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 know and what you don't.  Anatole France
Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity. Christopher Morley
To teach a man how he may learn to grow independently, and for himself, is perhaps the greatest service that one man can do another. Benjamin Jowett
One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.  Oliver Weldell Holmes
A lot of fellows nowadays have a B.A., M.D. or Ph.D. Unfortunately, they don't have a J.O.B.  Fats Domino
When you make the finding yourself - even if you are the last person on Earth to see the light - you will never forget it.  Carl Sagan
The newer and broader picture suggests that the child emerges into literacy by actively speaking, reading, and writing in the context of real life, not through filling out phonics worksheets or memorising words.  Thomas Armstrong
Who does not recall school at least in part as endless dreary hours of boredom punctuated by moments of high anxiety?  Daniel Goleman
There can be no education without leisure, and without leisure education is worthless. Sarah Josepha Hale
Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other. Edmund Burke
I hated school so intensely. It interfered with my freedom. I avoided the discipline by an elaborate technique of being absent-minded during classes. Sarah Undset, Nobel Laureate
Education...has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading. Trevelyan
I believe that school makes complete fools of our young men, because they see and hear nothing of ordinary life there. Petronius (Satyricon)

I have not the least doubt that school developed in me nothing but what was evil and left the good untouched. Edward Grieg

The founding fathers in their wisdom decided that children were an unnatural strain on parents, so they provided jails called schools, equipped with tortures called education. School is where you go between when your parents can't take you and industry can't take you. John Updike

I learned most, not from those who taught me but from those who talked with me. St. Augustine

Trying to get more learning out of the present system is like trying to get the Pony express to compete with the telegraph by breeding faster ponies. Edward Fiske

I remember that I was never able to get along at school. I was always at the foot of the class. Thomas Edison

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Thoreau

I have not done a full survey or review of education systems around the world, so that the views I express are based on personal experience. I would say that all education systems I've had contact with are a disgrace and a disaster. Edward de Bono

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. Heraclitus

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