On Education

‘Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.’
— Henry Brooks Adams
‘A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.’
— Henry Brooks Adams
‘A professor can never better distinguish himself in his work than by encouraging a clever pupil, for the true discoverers are among them, as comets amongst the stars.’
— Henry Brooks Adams
‘The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence. He inspires self-distrust. He guides their eyes from himself to the spirit that quickens him. He will have no disciple.’
— Bronson (Amos) Alcott
‘The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living from the dead.’
— Aristotle
‘The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.’
— Aristotle
‘It’s never enough to just tell people about some new insight. Rather, you have to get them to experience it a way that evokes its power and possibility. Instead of pouring knowledge into people’s heads, you need to help them grind anew set of eyeglasses so they can see the world in a new way.’
— John Seely Brown
‘Age 7–Why? Age 17–Why not? Age 37–Because!’
— David Campbell
‘The chief object of education is not to learn things but to unlearn things.’
— G. K. Chesterton
‘Without a gentle contempt for education no man’s education is complete.’
— G. K. Chesterton
‘I began my education at a very early age – in fact, right after I left college.’
— Winston Churchill
‘Personally, I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.’
— Winston Churchill
‘The one real object of education is to have a man in the condition of continually asking questions.’
— Mandell Creighton
‘One’s work may be finished someday, but one’s education never.’
— Alexandre Dumas
‘Education is a progressive discovery of ignorance.’
— William Durant
‘I remember that I was never able to get along at school. I was always at the foot of the class.’
— Thomas Edison
‘It is, in fact, little 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.’
— Albert Einstein
‘Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the life-long attempt to acquire it.’
— Albert Einstein
‘It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.’
— Albert Einstein
‘This coercion had such a deterring effect upon me that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problems distasteful for an entire year.’
— Albert Einstein
‘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
‘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
‘The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.’
— Anatole France
‘Genius without education is like silver in the mine.’
— Benjamin Franklin
‘Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training.’
— Anna Freud
‘Once they are through the process of education, most people lose the capacity of wondering, of being surprised. They feel they ought to know everything, and hence that it is a sign of ignorance to be surprised or puzzled by anything.’
— Erich Fromm
‘Genius will live and thrive without training, but it does not the less reward the watering pot and the pruning knife.’
— Margeret Fuller
‘You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him discover it within himself.’
— Galileo Galilei
‘Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.’
— Mahatma Gandhi
‘He who knows what he is told must know a lot of things that are not so.’
— Arthur Guiterman
‘Common sense is in spite of, not as the result of education.’
— Victor Hugo
‘He who opens a school door closes a prison.’
— Victor Hugo
‘The supreme end of education is expert discernment in all things – the power to tell the good from the bad, the genuine from the counterfeit, and to prefer the good and the genuine to the bad and the counterfeit.’
— Samuel Johnson
‘An understanding heart is everything in a teacher, and cannot be esteemed highly enough. One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feeling. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.’
— Carl Gustav Jung
‘An inventor is simply a fellow who doesn’t take his education too seriously.’
— Charles F. Kettering
‘There is frequently more to be learned from the unexpected questions of a child than the discourses of men, who talk in a road, according to the notions they have borrowed and the prejudices of their education.’
— John Locke
‘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
‘School days, I believe, are the unhappiest in the whole span of human existence.’
— H. L. Mencken
‘A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on a cold iron.’
— Horace Mann
‘The pupil who is never required to do what he cannot do, never does what he can do.’
— John Stuart Mill
‘I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.’
— Wilson Mizner
‘My chief job is to constantly stir or rekindle the curiosity of people that gets driven out by bureaucracy and formal schooling systems.’
— Akio Morita
‘Education, the great mumbo jumbo and fraud of the age purports to equip us to live and is prescribed as a universal remedy for everything from juvenile delinquency to premature senility.’
— Malcolm Muggeridge
‘Education is a method whereby one acquires a higher grade of prejudices.’
— Lawrence J. Peter
‘Children enter school as question marks and leave as periods.’
— Neil Postman
‘The principle 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 bookful blockhead, ignorantly reads
With loads of learned lumber in his head.’
— Alexander Pope
‘Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.’
— Beatrix Potter
‘Education is what survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten.’
— B. F. Skinner
‘It is because modern education is so seldom inspired by a great hope that it so seldom achieves great results. The wish to preserve the past rather that the hope of creating future dominates the minds of those who control the teaching of the young.’
— Bertrand Russell
‘The great difficulty in education is to get experience out of ideas.’
— George Santayana
‘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
‘A fool’s brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence university education.’
— George Bernard Shaw
‘I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.’
— Socrates
‘We sit inert, like dead specimens of some museum, while lessons are pelted at us from on high, like hailstones on flowers.’
— Rabindranath Tagore
‘What does education often do? It makes a straight cut ditch of a free meandering brook.’
— Henry David Thoreau
‘I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.’
— Mark Twain
‘A man can seldom—very, very seldom—fight a winning fight against his training: the odds are too great.’
— Mark Twain
‘Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run.’
— Mark Twain
‘Since we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our minds, our one duty is to furnish it well.’
— Peter Ustinov
‘The mediocre teacher tells; the good teacher explains; the superior teacher demonstrates; the great teacher inspires.’
— William Arthur Ward
‘Education is an admirable thing, but it is as well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.’
— Oscar Wilde
‘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
‘Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire.’
— William Butler Yeats