Education in the largest sense is any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character or physical ability of an individual. In its technical sense, education is the process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills, and values from one generation to another.
- You can think of the curriculum as the shadows cast on a wall by the light of education itself as it shines over, under, around, and through the myriad phases of our experience. It is a mistake to be sure to take these shadows for the reality, but they are something that helps us find or grasp or intuit that reality. The false notions that there is a fixed curriculum, that there is a list of things that an educated person ought to know, and that the shadow-exercises on the wall themselves are the content of education—these false notions all come from taking too seriously what was originally a wise recognition—the recognition that the shadows do in fact provide a starting point in our attempt to fully envision reality.
- Andrew Abbott, “Welcome to the University of Chicago,” Aims of Education Address, September 26, 2002
- Education doesn’t have aims. It is the aim of other things.
- Andrew Abbott, “Welcome to the University of Chicago,” Aims of Education Address, September 26, 2002
- Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.
- Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams
- Education makes a greater difference between man and man, than nature has made between man and brute. The virtues and powers to which men may be trained, by early education and constant discipline, are truly sublime and astonishing. Newton and Locke are examples of the deep sagacity which may be acquired by long habits of thinking and study.
- The Science of Government it is my Duty to study, more than all other Sciences: the Art of Legislation and Administration and Negotiation, ought to take Place, indeed to exclude in a manner all other Arts.—I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine.
- John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams, after May 12, 1780; reported in L. H. Butterfield, ed., Adams Family Correspondence (1973), vol. 3, p. 342.
- The object of education is not merely to enable our children to gain their daily bread and to acquire pleasant means of recreation, but that they should know God and serve Him with earnestness and devotion.
- The reproduction of labour power thus reveals as its sine qua non not only the reproduction of its ‘skills’ but also the reproduction of its subjection to the ruling ideology. ... It is in the forms and under the forms of ideological subjection that provision is made for the reproduction of the skills of labour power.
- "Much knowledge of the right sort is a dangerous thing for the poor," might have been the motto put up over the door of the village school in my day. The less book-learning the labourer's lad got stuffed into him, the better for him and the safer for those above him, was what those in authority believed and acted up to. I daresay they made themselves think somehow or other—perhaps by not thinking—that they were doing their duty in that state of life to which it had pleased God to call them, when they tried to numb his brain, as a preliminary to stunting his body later on, as stunt it they did, by forcing him to work like a beast of burden for a pittance.
- Joseph Arch, The Story of his Life Told by Himself (1898), p. 25
- [The educated differ from the uneducated] as much as the living from the dead.
- Attributed to Aristotle; reported in Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, trans. R. D. Hicks (1942), vol. 1, book 5, section 19, p. 463. Diogenes also credits Aristotle with saying: "Teachers who educated children deserved more honour than parents who merely gave them birth; for bare life is furnished by the one, the other ensures a good life" (p. 463).
- For rigorous teachers seized my youth,
And purged its faith, and trimm’d its fire,
Show’d me the high white star of Truth,
There bade me gaze, and there aspire.
- Matthew Arnold, Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse (1855), st. 12
- A native of America who cannot read and write is as rare an appearance as a Jacobite or a Roman Catholic, that is, as rare as a comet or an earthquake.
- John Adams “A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law,” Boston Gazette (published in parts, Aug. 12, 19, Sept. 30, Oct. 2, 1765). The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: with a Life of the Author, Charles Francis Adams, editor, Vol. III, Boston, Charles C. Little and James Brown (1851), p. 456
- From my grandfather's father, [I learned] to dispense with attendance at public schools, and to enjoy good teachers at home, and to recognize that on such things money should be eagerly spent.
- Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Meditations, Book I, verse 4.
- Why is it that millions of children who are pushouts or dropouts amount to business as usual in the public schools, while one family educating a child at home becomes a major threat to universal public education and the survival of democracy?
- Stephen Arons, Compelling Belief: The Culture of American Schooling (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1983), 88.
- The assumption is all but universal among those who control our educational policies from the elementary grades to the university that anything that sets bounds to the free unfolding of the temperamental proclivities of the young, to their right of self-expression, as one may say, is outworn prejudice. Discipline, so far as it exists, is not of the humanistic or the religious type, but of the kind that one gets in training for a vocation or a specialty. The standards of a genuinely liberal education, as they have been understood, more or less from the time of Aristotle, are being progressively undermined by the utilitarians and the sentimentalists. If the Baconian-Rousseauistic formula is as unsound in certain of its postulates as I myself believe, we are in danger of witnessing in this country one of the great cultural tragedies of the ages.
- Irving Babbitt, "What I Believe" (1930), Irving Babbitt: Representative Writings (1981), p. 16
- To spend too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humour of a scholar.
- There is a risk of elevating, by an indiscriminating education, the minds of those doomed to the drudgery of daily labour above their condition, and thereby rendering them discontented and unhappy in their lot.
- Reverend Andrew Bell, as cited in Education for the Future: The Case for Radical Change (1979), p. 29
- I have often observed, to my regret, that a widespread prejudice exists with regard to the educability of intelligence. The familiar proverb, "When one is stupid, it is for a long time," seems to be accepted indiscriminately by teachers with a stunted critical judgement. These teacher lose interest in students with low intelligence. Their lack of sympathy and respect is illustrated by their unrestrained comments in the presence of the children: "This child will never achieve anything... He is poorly endowed... He is not intelligent at all." I have heard such rash statements too often. They are repeated daily in primary schools, nor are secondary schools exempt from the charge.
- Alfred Binet (1909/1975). Modern ideas about children. Translated by Suzanne Heisler. Menlo Park, CA. Les idées modernes sur les enfants, Paris, E. Flammarion, 1909., as cited in: B.R. Hergenhahn. An Introduction to the History of Psychology 2009. p. 312-3
- Education is the taming or domestication of the soul’s raw passions—not suppressing or excising them, which would deprive the soul of its energy—but forming and informing them as art.
- Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind (New York: 1988), p. 71
- Education is not sermonizing to children against their instincts and pleasures, but providing a natural continuity between what they feel and what they can and should be.
- Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind (New York: 1988), p. 80
- Example has more followers than reason.
- Christian Nestell Bovee, Intuitions and Summaries of Thought (1862), Volume I, p. 178.
- Our schools may be wasting precious years by postponing the teaching of many important subjects on the ground that they are too difficult…the foundations of any subject may be taught to anybody at any age in some form.
- Jerome Bruner The Process of Education (1961), p.11
- Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water-bugs, tadpoles, frogs, mud-turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb, brooks to wade in, water-lilies, woodchucks, bats, bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hay-fields, pine-cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of his education.
By being well acquainted with all these they come into most intimate harmony with nature, whose lessons are, of course, natural and wholesome.
- Luther Burbank, The Training of the Human Plant (1907), p. 91
- Think about every problem, every challenge, we face. The solution to each starts with education.
- There's a reason some may say education sucks, and it's the same reason it will never be fixed. It's never going to get any better. Don't look for it. Be happy with what you've got... because the owners of this country don't want that. I'm talking about the real owners now... the real owners. The big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They've long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls. They got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying. Lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them. That's against their interests. That's right.
- George Carlin, Life Is Worth Losing (2005)
- That there should one Man die ignorant who had capacity for Knowledge, this I call a tragedy.
- Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus, Bk. III, ch. 4
- Education is the strongest weapon available for restricting the questions people ask, controlling what they think, and ensuring that they get their thoughts ‘from above’.
- John Carroll, Break-Out from the Crystal Palace (1974), p. 34
- Education must have two foundations—morality as a support for virtue, prudence as a defence for self against the vices of others. By letting the balance incline to the side of morality, you only make dupes or martyrs; by letting it incline to the other, you make calculating egoists. The one great social principle is to be just both to yourself and to others. If you must love your neighbour as yourself, it is at least as fair to love yourself as your neighbour.
- Nicolas Chamfort, The Cynics Breviary, W. Hutchison, trans. (1902), pp. 20-21
- The common notion has been, that the mass of the people need no other culture than is necessary to fit them for their various trades; and, though this error is passing away, it is far from being exploded. But the ground of a man’s 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, nails, or pins. A trade is plainly not the great end of his being, for his mind cannot be shut up in it; his force of thought cannot be exhausted on it. He has faculties to which it gives no action, and deep wants it cannot answer. Poems, and systems of theology and philosophy, which have made some noise in the world, have been wrought at the work-bench and amidst the toils of the field. How often, when the arms are mechanically plying a trade, does the mind, lost in reverie or day-dreams, escape to the ends of the earth! How often does the pious heart of woman mingle the greatest of all thoughts, that of God, with household drudgery! Undoubtedly a man is to perfect himself in his trade, for by it he is to earn his bread and to serve the community. But bread or subsistence is not his highest good; for, if it were, his lot would be harder than that of the inferior animals, for whom nature spreads a table and weaves a wardrobe, without a care of their own. Nor was he made chiefly to minister to the wants of the community. A rational, moral being cannot, without infinite wrong, be converted into a mere instrument of others’ gratification. He is necessarily an end, not a means. A mind, in which are sown the seeds of wisdom, disinterestedness, firmness of purpose, and piety, is worth more than all the outward material interests of a world. It exists for itself, for its own perfection, and must not be enslaved to its own or others’ animal wants.
- William Ellery Channing, “Self-Culture”
- When I speak of the purpose of self-culture, I mean that it should be sincere. In other words, we must make self-culture really and truly our end, or choose it for its own sake, and not merely as a means or instrument of something else. And here I touch a common and very pernicious error. Not a few persons desire to improve themselves only to get property and to rise in the world; but such do not properly choose improvement, but something outward and foreign to themselves; and so low an impulse can produce only a stinted, partial, uncertain growth. A man, as I have said, is to cultivate himself because he is a man. He is to start with the conviction that there is something greater within him than in the whole material creation, than in all the worlds which press on the eye and ear; and that inward improvements have a worth and dignity in themselves quite distinct from the power they give over outward things. Undoubtedly a man is to labor to better his condition, but first to better himself. If he knows no higher use of his mind than to invent and drudge for his body, his case is desperate as far as culture is concerned.
- William Ellery Channing, “Self-Culture”
- Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.
- G.K. Chesterton, Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton : The Illustrated London News, 1905-1907 (1986), p. 71
- Mass public education is one of the great achievements of the United States. ... The U.S. did pioneer it, but it had purposes. One purpose was to drive independent farmers into the industrial system, to induce them to give up their independence, the rights of free men and women, and to submit themselves to industrial discipline and everything that went along with it, to accept a life of wage slavery. ... Ralph Waldo Emerson discussed the fact that the political leaders of his day ... were calling for popular education. When he thought about why they were doing it, he said their reason is fear. "They say this country is filling up with thousands and millions of voters, and you must educate them to keep them from our throats." In other words, educate them, the right way, to passivity, obedience, acceptance of their fate as right and just, conforming to the new spirit of the age, keep their perspectives narrow, their understanding limited, discourage free, independent thought, frighten them into obedience, because the masters are afraid.
- Just as eating contrary to the inclination is injurious to the health, study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.
- If there is to be any permanent improvement in man and any better social order, it must come mainly from the education and humanizing of man. I am quite certain that the more the question of crime and its treatment is studied the less faith men have in punishment.
- Clarence Darrow Crime : Its Cause And Treatment (1922) Ch. 36 "Remedies"
- If today you can take a thing like evolution and make it a crime to teach it in the public school, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools, and the next year you can make it a crime to teach it to the hustings or in the church. At the next session you may ban books and the newspapers. Soon you may set Catholic against Protestant and Protestant against Protestant, and try to foist your own religion upon the minds of men. If you can do one you can do the other. Ignorance and fanaticism is ever busy and needs feeding. Always it is feeding and gloating for more. Today it is the public school teachers, tomorrow the private. The next day the preachers and the lectures, the magazines, the books, the newspapers. After a while, your honor, it is the setting of man against man and creed against creed until with flying banners and beating drums we are marching backward to the glorious ages of the sixteenth century when bigots lighted fagots to burn the men who dared to bring any intelligence and enlightenment and culture to the human mind.
- Clarence Darrow Scopes Trial, Dayton, Tennessee (13 July 1925)
- Education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.
- Education is an ornament for the prosperous, a refuge for the unfortunate.
- In my opinion the prevailing systems of education are all wrong, from the first stage to the last stage. Education 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.
- I hope we still have some bright twelve-year-olds who are interested in science. We must be careful not to discourage our twelve-year-olds by making them waste the best years of their lives on preparing for examinations.
- With the proper understanding of the economic system, the workers will soon find means to end that system, and to raise on its ruins a development of society having for its goal the benefit of the whole, instead of a part, of the community.
- William Earsman, The Proletariat and Education: The Necessity for Labor Colleges (1920)
- How does it happen that a properly endowed natural scientist comes to concern himself with epistemology? Is there no more valuable work in his specialty? I hear many of my colleagues saying, and I sense it from many more, that they feel this way. I cannot share this sentiment. When I think about the ablest students whom I have encountered in my teaching, that is, those who distinguish themselves by their independence of judgment and not merely their quick-wittedness, I can affirm that they had a vigorous interest in epistemology. They happily began discussions about the goals and methods of science, and they showed unequivocally, through their tenacity in defending their views, that the subject seemed important to them. Indeed, one should not be surprised at this.
- Albert Einstein, “Ernst Mach,” Physikalische Zeitschrift (1916) 17, pp. 101-102, a memorial notice for Ernst Mach, as quoted by Don Howard, "Albert Einstein on the Relationship between Philosophy and Physics."
- All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. It is no mere chance that our older universities developed from clerical schools. Both churches and universities — insofar as they live up to their true function — serve the ennoblement of the individual. They seek to fulfill this great task by spreading moral and cultural understanding, renouncing the use of brute force.
- Albert Einstein, "Moral Decay" (1937); published in Out of My Later Years (1950)
- It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction 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 wreck 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 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; quoted in "Autobiographical Notes", Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist, Paul Schilpp, ed. (1951), pp. 17-19.
- The great object of Education should be commensurate with the object of life. It should be a moral one; to teach self-trust; to inspire the youthful man with an interest in himself; with a curiosity touching his own nature; to acquaint him with the resources of his mind, and to teach him that there is all his strength, and to inflame him with a piety towards the Grand Mind in which he lives.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, 'Emerson on Education'
- Parents thought it was enough to bring their children into the world and to shower them with riches, but had no interest in their education. There are severe laws against people who expose their children and abandon them in some forest to be devoured by wild animals. But is there any form of exposure more cruel than to abandon to bestial impulses children whom nature intended to be raised according to upright principles to live a good life? If there existed a Thessalian witch who had the power and the desire to transform your son into a swine or a wolf, would you not think that no punishment could be too severe for her? But what you find revolting in her, you eagerly practise yourself. Lust is a hideous brute; extravagance is a devouring and insatiable monster; drunkenness is a savage beast; anger is a fearful creature; and ambition is a ghastly animal. Anyone who fails to instil into his child, from his earliest years onwards, a love of good and a hatred of evil is, in fact, exposing him to these cruel monsters.
- Erasmus, “On Education for Children,” The Erasmus Reader (University of Toronto Press: 1990), p. 74
- Remarquez un grand défaut des éducations ordinaires: on met tout le plaisir d'un côté , et tout l'ennui de l'autre; tout l'ennui dans l'étude, tout le plaisir dans les divertissements.
- The greatest defect of common education is, that we are in the habit of putting pleasure all on one side, and weariness on the other; all weariness in study, all pleasure in idleness.
- François Fénelon De l'éducation des filles, ch. 5, cited from De l’éducation des filles, dialogues des morts et opuscules divers (Paris: Firmin Didot, 1857) p. 21; translation from Selections from the Writings of Fénelon (Boston: Hilliard, Gray, Little and Wilkins, 1829) p. 72.
- The greatest defect of common education is, that we are in the habit of putting pleasure all on one side, and weariness on the other; all weariness in study, all pleasure in idleness.
- You’re out of your mind! ... Too much education is driving you crazy!
- Most often people seek in life occasions for persisting in their opinions rather than for educating themselves.
- André Gide, “An Unprejudiced Mind,” Pretexts, J. O’Brien, ed. (1964) p. 311
- Teaching, as well as preaching, to which it is allied, is certainly a work belonging to the active life, but it derives in a way from the very fullness of contemplation
- Étienne Gilson, Thomism: The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, Introduction
- Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theatre.
- Gail Godwin, as cited in Robert Byrne's The 2,548 Best Things Anybody Ever Said #766
- As the true object of education is not to render the pupil the mere copy of his preceptor, it is rather to be rejoiced in, than lamented, that various reading should lead him into new trains of thinking.
- William Godwin "Of Choice in Reading", The Enquirer (1797)
- Nicht vor Irrthum zu bewahren, ist die Pflicht des Menschenerziehers, sondern den Irrenten zu leiten, ja, ihn seinen Irrthum aus vollen Bechern ausschlürfen zu lassen, das ist Weisheit der Lehrer. Wer seinen Irrthum nur kostet, hält lange damit Haus, er freuet sich dessen als eines seltenen Glücks; aber wer ihn ganz erschöpft, der muß ihn kennen lernen, wenn er nicht wahnsinnig ist.
- Not to keep from error, is the duty of the educator of men, but to guide the erring one, even to let him swill his error out of full cups. That is the wisdom of teachers. He who merely tastes of his error will keep house with it for a long time. … But he who drains it to the dregs will have to get to know it.
- Even if the world progresses generally, youth will always begin at the beginning, and the epochs of the world's cultivation will be repeated in the individual.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, as reported by Johann Peter Eckermann in Conversations with Goethe
- Elitism is repulsive when based upon external and artificial limitations like race, gender, or social class. Repulsive and utterly false—for that spark of genius is randomly distributed across all cruel barriers of our social prejudice. We therefore must grant access—and encouragement—to everyone; and must be increasingly vigilant, and tirelessly attentive, in providing such opportunities to all children. We will have no justice until this kind of equality can be attained. But if only a small minority respond, and these are our best and brightest of all races, classes, and genders, shall we deny them the pinnacle of their soul's striving because all their colleagues prefer passivity and flashing lights? Let them lift their eyes to hills of books, and at least a few museums that display the full magic of nature's variety. What is wrong with this truly democratic form of elistim?
- Stephen Jay Gould, "Cabinet Museums: Alive, Alive, O!", Dinosaur in a Haystack: Reflections in Natural History (1995)
- The followers of Aristotle were called peripatetics because the "master of them that know" valued the linkage between cogitation and ambulation (the covered walk in Aristotle's Lyceum was a peripatos).
- Stephen Jay Gould, "Evolution by Walking", Dinosaur in a Haystack: Reflections in Natural History (1995), p. 259
- The history of education shows that every class which has sought to take power has prepared itself for power by an autonomous education. The first step in emancipating oneself from political and social slavery is that of freeing the mind. I put forward this new idea: popular schooling should be placed under the control of the great workers’ unions. The problem of education is the most important class problem.
- Antonio Gramsci, cited in Davidson's (1977) Antonio Gramsci: Towards an Intellectual Biography. London: Merlin Press., p. 77.
- The framers of our Constitution firmly believed that a republican government could not endure without intelligence and education generally diffused among the people. The Father of his Country, in his Farewell Address, uses this language: Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.
- I would therefore call upon Congress to take all the means within their constitutional powers to promote and encourage popular education throughout the country, and upon the people everywhere to see to it that all who possess and exercise political rights shall have the opportunity to acquire the knowledge which will make their share in the Government a blessing and not a danger. By such means only can the benefits contemplated by this amendment to the Constitution be secured.
- The free school is the promoter of that intelligence which is to preserve us as a nation. If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason’s and Dixon’s, but between patriotism and intelligence on one sight, and superstition, ambition, and ignorance on the other. Now in this centennial year of our national existence, I believe it a good time to begin the work of strengthening the foundation of the house commenced by our patriotic forefathers one hundred years ago, at Concord and Lexington.
- Encourage free schools, and resolve that not one dollar of money shall be appropriated to the support of any sectarian school. Resolve that neither the state nor nation, or both combined, shall support institutions of learning other than those sufficient to afford every child growing up in the land the opportunity of a good common school education, unmixed with sectarian, Pagan, or Atheistical tenets. Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and the state forever separate. With these safeguards, I believe the battles which created the Army of the Tennessee will not have been fought in vain.
- As the primary step, therefore, to our advancement in all that has marked our progress in the past century, I suggest for your earnest consideration, and most earnestly recommend it, that a constitutional amendment be submitted to the legislatures of the several States for ratification, making it the duty of each of the several States to establish and forever maintain free public schools adequate to the education of all the children in the rudimentary branches within their respective limits, irrespective of sex, color, birthplace, or religions; forbidding the teaching in said schools of religious, atheistic, or pagan tenets; and prohibiting the granting of any school funds or school taxes, or any part thereof, either by legislative, municipal, or other authority, for the benefit or in aid, directly or indirectly, of any religious sect or denomination, or in aid or for the benefit of any other object of any nature or kind whatever.
- I have not the least doubt that school developed in me nothing but what was evil and left the good untouched.
- Edvard Grieg; quoted in Henry T. Fink, Grieg and His Music (1929), page 8.
- Education is the factory that turns animals into human beings. […] If women are educated, that means their children will be too. If the people of the world want to solve the hard problems in Afghanistan — kidnapping, beheadings, crime and even al-Qaeda — they should invest in [our] education.
- Education is a means of sharpening the mind of man both spiritually and intellectually. It is a two-edged sword that can be used either for the progress of mankind or for its destruction. That is why it has been Our constant desire and endeavor to develop our education for the benefit of mankind.
- Haile Selassie, in a University Graduation address (2 July 1963), published in Important Utterances of H. I. M. Emperor Haile Selassie I, 1963-1972 (1972), p. 22
- The United States ... celebrates rote vocational training and the singular, amoral skill of making money. It churns out stunted human products, lacking the capacity and vocabulary to challenge the assumptions and structures of the corporate state. It funnels them into a caste system of drones and systems managers. It transforms a democratic state into a feudal system of corporate masters and serfs.
- Chris Hedges, “Why The United States Is Destroying Education,” truthdig.com April 10, 2011
- The educated don't get that way by memorizing facts; they get that way by respecting them.
- Tom Heehler, The Well-Spoken Thesaurus (Sourcebooks 2011).
- The central task of education is to implant a will and facility for learning; it should produce not learned but learning people. The truly human society is a learning society, where grandparents, parents, and children are students together.
- Eric Hoffer, Reflections on the Human Condition (2006), #32
- The best education will not immunize a person against corruption by power. The best education does not automatically make people compassionate. We know this more clearly than any preceding generation. Our time has seen the best-educated society, situated in the heart of the most civilized part of the world, give birth to the most murderously vengeful government in history.
Forty years ago the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead thought it self-evident that you would get a good government if you took power out of the hands of the acquisitive and gave it to the learned and the cultivated. At present, a child in kindergarten knows better than that.
- Eric Hoffer, Before the Sabbath (1979), p. 40-41
- What we need is to justify coercion, paternalistic control, blame, scolding, and punishment - all of which are less evident in trigonometry class than in a fourth grade learning long division.(...) I have argued that blame, scolding, and punishment in public schools - what I have called "the ordeal" - can be successfully defended. Students have a duty to learn, and can be held responsible for violating whatever rules, policies, or instructions are enforced to ensure that they do so.
- Charles Howell - Syracuse University: Education, Punishment, and Responsibility
- Between the ages of five and nine I was almost perpetually at war with the educational system. ... As soon as I learned from my mother that there was there was a place called school that I must attend willy-nilly—a place where you were obliged to think about matters prescribed by a 'teacher,' not about matters decided by yourself—I was appalled.
- Fred Hoyle, The Small World of Fred Hoyle: an Autobiography (1986)
- One purpose of education is to draw out the elements of our common human nature. These elements are the same in any time or place. The notion of educating a man to live in any particular time or place, to adjust him to any particular environment, is therefore foreign to a true conception of education.
Education implies teaching. Teaching implies knowledge. Knowledge is truth. The truth is everywhere the same. Hence education should be everywhere the same.
- H. Gordon Hullfish, Philip G. Smith, Reflective Thinking: The Method of Education (1961) p. 129.
- Why is it that in most children education seems to destroy the creative urge? Why do so many boys and girls leave school with blunted perceptions and a closed mind? A majority of young people seem to develop mental arteriosclerosis forty years before they get the physical kind. Another question: why do some people remain open and elastic into extreme old age, whereas others become rigid and unproductive before they're fifty? It's a problem in biochemistry and adult education.
- Aldous Huxley, in an interview by Raymond Fraser and George Wickes for The Paris Review, Issue 23, Spring 1960.
- Within the next generation I believe that the world's leaders will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging them and kicking them into obedience
- Aldous Huxley, letter to George Orwell (Smith, Grover (1969). Letters of Aldous Huxley. Chatto & Windus).
- Universal education through schooling is not feasible. It would be no more feasible if it were attempted by means of alternative institutions built on the style of present schools. Neither new attitudes of teachers toward their pupils nor the proliferation of educational hardware or software (in classroom or bedroom), nor finally the attempt to expand the pedagogue's responsibility until it engulfs his pupils' lifetimes will deliver universal education. The current search for new educational funnels must be reversed into the search for their institutional inverse: educational webs which heighten the opportunity for each one to transform each moment of his living into one of learning, sharing, and caring. We hope to contribute concepts needed by those who conduct such counterfoil research on education — and also to those who seek alternatives to other established service industries.
- Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society (1971) Introduction (November 1970).
- True education means fostering the ability to be interested in something.
- How does this man have such a knowledge of the Scriptures when he has not studied at the schools?
- Education is man's going forward from cocksure ignorance to thoughtful uncertainty.
- Kenneth G. Johnson, as cited in Michigan Education Journal - Volumes 36-37 - Page 285, 1958
- Plato is the first writer who distinctly says that education is to comprehend the whole of life, and to be a preparation for another in which education begins again... He has long given up the notion that virtue cannot be taught; and he is disposed to modify the thesis of the Protagoras, that the virtues are one and not many. He is not unwilling to admit the sensible world into his scheme of truth. Nor does he assert in the Republic the involuntariness of vice, which is maintained by him in the Timaeus, Sophist, and Laws... Still, we observe in him the remains of the old Socratic doctrine, that true knowledge must be elicited from within, and is to be sought for in ideas, not in particulars of sense. Education, as he says, will implant a principle of intelligence which is better than ten thousand eyes. The paradox that the virtues are one, and the kindred notion that all virtue is knowledge, are not entirely renounced; the first is seen in the supremacy given to justice over the rest; the second in the tendency to absorb the moral virtues in the intellectual, and to centre all goodness in the contemplation of the idea of good. The world of sense is still depreciated and identified with opinion, though omitted to be a shadow of the true. In the Republic he is evidently impressed with the conviction that vice arises chiefly from ignorance and may be cured by education; the multitude are hardly to be deemed responsible for what they do ... he only proposes to elicit from the mind that which is there already. Education is represented by him, not as the filling of a vessel, but as the turning the eye of the soul towards the light.
- Man must develop his tendency towards the good.
- Immanuel Kant, Thoughts on Education, #12
- It was imagined that experiments in education were not necessary; and that, whether any thing in it was good or bad, could be judged of by the reason. But this was a great mistake; experience shows very often that results are produced precisely the opposite to those which had been expected. We also see from experiment that one generation cannot work out a complete plan of education.
- Immanuel Kant, in his university lectures "On Pedagogy"
- Transforming hereditary privilege into ‘merit,’ the existing system of educational selection, with the Big Three [Harvard, Princeton, and Yale] as its capstone, provides the appearance if not the substance of equality of opportunity. In so doing, it legitimates the established order as one that rewards ability over the prerogatives of birth. The problem with a ‘meritocracy,’ then, is not only that its ideals are routinely violated (though that is true), but also that it veils the power relations beneath it. For the definition of ‘merit,’ including the one that now prevails in America’s leading universities, always bears the imprint of the distribution of power in the larger society. Those who are able to define ‘merit’ will almost invariably possess more of it, and those with greater resources—cultural, economic and social—will generally be able to ensure that the educational system will deem their children more meritorious.
- Jerome Karabel, The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton (Houghton Mifflin: 2005), pp. 549-550
- When brought to the proletariat from the capitalist class, science is invariably adapted to suit capitalist interests. What the proletariat needs is a scientific understanding of its own position in society. That kind of science a worker cannot obtain in the officially and socially approved manner. The proletarian himself must develop his own theory. For this reason he must be completely self-taught.
- Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain.
- Give the children of the poor that portion of education which will enable them to know their own resources ; which will cultivate in them an onward-looking hope, and give them rational amusement in their leisure hours : this, and this only, will work out that moral revolution, which is the legislator's noblest purpose.
- As educators, rather than raising your voices over the rustling of our chains, take them off, uncuff us, unencumbered by the lumbering weight of poverty and privilege, policy and ignorance. ... If you take the time to connect the dots, you can plot the true shape of their genius, shining in their darkest hour. ... Beneath their masks and their mischiefs exists an authentic frustration at enslavement to your standardized assessments. At the core, none of us were meant to be common. We were meant to comets, leaving our mark as we crash into everything. ... I’ve been the black hole in the classroom for far too long, absorbing everything without allowing my light to escape, but those days are done. I belong among the stars and so do you.
- I would advise no one to send his child where the Holy Scriptures are not supreme. Every institution that does not unceasingly pursue the study of God's word becomes corrupt. Because of this we can see what kind of people they become in the universities and what they are like now. Nobody is to blame for this except the pope, the bishops, and the prelates, who are all charged with training young people. The universities only ought to turn out men who are experts in the Holy Scriptures, men who can become bishops and priests, and stand in the front line against heretics, the devil, and all the world. But where do you find that? I greatly fear that the universities, unless they teach the Holy Scriptures diligently and impress them on the young students, are wide gates to hell.
- Martin Luther To the Christian Nobility of the German States (1520), translated by Charles M. Jacobs, reported in rev. James Atkinson, The Christian in Society, I (Luther’s Works, ed. James Atkinson, vol. 44), p. 207 (1966).
- Socrates ... made all his philosophy subservient to morality, ... and took more pains to rectify the tempers than replenish the understandings of his pupils; and looked upon all knowledge as useless speculation that was not brought to this end, to make us wiser and better men. And, without doubt, if in the academy the youth has once happily learned the great art of managing his temper, governing his passions, and guarding his foibles, he will find a more solid advantage from it in afterlife, than he could expect from the best acquaintance with all the systems of ancient and modern philosophy.
- John Mason, A Treatise on Self-Knowledge (1745)
- Whence is it that moral philosophy, which was so carefully cultivated in the ancient academy, should be forced in the modern to give place to natural, that was originally designed to be subservient to it? Which is to exalt the hand-maid into the place of mistress. This appears not only a preposterous, but a pernicious method of institution; for as the mind takes a turn of thought in future life, suitable to the tincture it hath received in youth, it will naturally conclude that there is no necessity to regard, or at least to lay any stress upon what was never inculcated upon it as a matter of importance then: and so will grow up in a neglect or disesteem of those things which are more necessary to make a person a wise and truly understanding man than all those rudiments of science he brought with him from the school or college.
- John Mason, A Treatise on Self-Knowledge (1745)
- Surely a University is the very place where we should be able to overcome this tendency of men to become, as it were, granulated into small worlds, which are all the more worldly for their very smallness. We lose the advantage of having men of varied pursuits collected into one body, if we do not endeavour to imbibe some of the spirit even of those whose special branch of learning is different from our own.
- An uneducated population may be degraded; a population educated, but not in righteousness, will be ungovernable. The one may be slaves, the other must be tyrants.
- Henry Melvill (1798–1871). Quote reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 364.
- If the end of education is to foster the love of truth, this love cannot be presupposed in the means. The means must rather be based on a resourceful pedagogical rhetoric that, knowing how initially resistant or impervious we all are to philosophic truth, necessarily makes use of motives other than love of truth and of techniques other than “saying exactly what you mean.” That is why, for example, the earlier, classical tradition of rationalism recognized the inescapable need to speak in philosophical poems and dialogues as well as treatises.
- Arthur Melzer, “On the Pedagogical Motive for Esoteric Writing,” Journal of Politics, Vol. 69, Issue 4, November 2007, p. 1018
- A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another: and as the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, a priesthood, an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation; in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by natural tendency to one over the body.
- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859), Chapter 5
- I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.
- Michel de Montaigne, Essais, Book I, Ch. 9, (1595)
- 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.
- H.L. Mencken, The American Mercury (24 April 1924)
- Continued adherence to a policy of compulsory education is utterly incompatible with efforts to establish lasting peace.
- Ludwig Von Mises, Liberalism, p. 114.
- 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, Theory and History: An Interpretation of Social and Economic Evolution, Ludwig von Mises Institute (2007) p. 263. First published by Yale University Press, 1957
- Show me the man who has enjoyed his schooldays and I will show you a bully and a bore.
- Robert Morley, Robert Morley: Responsible Gentleman (1966).
- The Prophet said, "He who has a slave-girl and teaches her good manners and improves her education and then manumits and marries her, will get a double reward; and any slave who observes Allah's right and his master's right will get a double reward."
- Muhammad narrated Abu Musa Al-Ashari, in Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 46, Number 723'
- There is always the difficulty of difficulties, that of inducing the child to lend himself to all this endeavor, and to second the master, and not show himself recalcitrant to the efforts made on his behalf. For this reason the _moral_ education is the point of departure; before all things, it is necessary to _discipline_ the class. The pupils must be induced to _second_ the master's efforts, if not by love, then by force. Failing this point of departure, all education and instruction would be _impossible_, and the school _useless_.
- Maria Montessori, Spontaneous Activity in Education (available on Gutenberg.org).
- The ruling clique approaches its task with a "what to think" program; the vanguard elements have much more difficult job of promoting "how to think."
- Huey P. Newton, Blood in My Eye (1971), p. 29
- That is the secret of all culture: it does not provide artificial limbs, wax noses or spectacles—that which can provide these things is, rather, only sham education. Culture is liberation, the removal of all the weeds, rubble and vermin that want to attack the tender buds of the plant.
- What are our schools for if not for indoctrination against communism?
- Richard Nixon, Speech before a meeting of San Diego educators during the 1962 gubernatorial election, cited in In Conflict and Order: Understanding Society, p. 153
- Every stage of education begins with childhood. That is why the most educated person on earth so much resembles a child.
- Novalis, “Miscellaneous Observations,” Philosophical Writings, M. Stolijar, trans. (Albany: 1997) #48
- A tax-supported, compulsory educational system is the complete model of the totalitarian state.
- Isabel Paterson, The God of the Machine New Brunswick: NJ, Transaction Publishers (2009), first published 1943, p. 258
- Multis ne magistri veri essent magisterii falsum nomen obstitit: dum de se plus omnibus quam sibi dumque quod dicebantur, sed non erant, esse crediderunt, quod esse poterant non fuerunt.
- A meaningless master’s degree has kept many from becoming true masters. Believing others rather than themselves, and believing to be what they were cried up to be but really were not, they never became what they could have become.
- I believe that school makes complete fools of our young men, because they see and hear nothing of ordinary life there.
- Petronius, Satyricon.
- The student will take his activity more to heart if his work supplies and, above all, the result of his efforts belong to him.
- Jean Piaget, "The Right to Education in the Modern World" (1948), tr. George-Anne Roberts in To Understand Is To Invent: The Future of Education (1973), p. 60–61
- We must encourage [each other] once we have grasped the basic points to interconnecting everything else on our own, to use memory to guide our original thinking, and to accept what someone else says as a starting point, a seed to be nourished and grown. For the correct analogy for the mind is not a vessel that needs filling but wood that needs igniting no more and then it motivates one towards originality and instills the desire for truth. Suppose someone were to go and ask his neighbors for fire and find a substantial blaze there, and just stay there continually warming himself: that is no different from someone who goes to someone else to get to some of his rationality, and fails to realize that he ought to ignite his own flame, his own intellect, but is happy to sit entranced by the lecture, and the words trigger only associative thinking and bring, as it were, only a flush to his cheeks and a glow to his limbs; but he has not dispelled or dispersed, in the warm light of philosophy, the internal dank gloom of his mind.
- Plutarch, On Listening to Lectures.
- Men must be taught as if you taught them not
And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope, “An Essay on Criticism”
- This education forms the common mind, Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined.
- Alexander Pope, Moral Essays (1731-35).
- One of the main things about teaching is not what you say but what you don't say. When you hear someone play, you have to work out the way they do things naturally and then leave them alone, because you want the naturalness to be there still.
- Itzhak Perlman, "Teaching the Teachers", Strad.
- The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.
- Plutarch, On Listening to Lectures.
- Formal education teaches how to stand, but to see the rainbow you must come out and walk many steps on your own.
- Amit Ray, Nonviolence: The Transforming Power
- Education is beautification of the inner world and the outer world.
- Amit Ray, Nonviolence: The Transforming Power
- Education is unfolding the wings of head and heart together. The job of a teacher is to push the students out of the nest to strengthen their wings.
- Amit Ray, Walking the Path of Compassion (2015) p. 62
- It is very strange, that, ever since mankind have taken it into their heads to trouble themselves so much about the education of children, they should never have thought of any other instruments to effect their purpose than those of emulation, jealousy, envy, pride, covetousness, and servile fear—all passions the most dangerous, the most apt to ferment, and the most fit to corrupt the soul, even before the body is formed. With every premature instruction we instil into the head, we implant a vice in the bottom of the heart.
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Émile
- Early socialists and latter-day mercantilists and interventionist were united in the battle for state-controlled education as a means of social control. The uncontrolled mind was a dangerous mind.
- Rousas John Rushdoony, The Messianic Character of American Education: Studies in the History of the Philosophy of Education, Phillpsburg, NJ, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company (1963) p. 35
- I receive many letters from parents respecting the education of their children. In the mass of these letters I am always struck by the precedence which the idea of a “position in life” takes above all other thoughts in the parents’—more especially in the mothers’—minds. “The education befitting such and such a station in life”—this is the phrase, this the object, always. They never seek, as far as I can make out, an education good in itself, … but, an education … “which shall lead to advancement in life;—this we pray for on bent knees—and this is all we pray for.” It never seems to occur to the parents that there may be an education which, in itself, is advancement in life.
- John Ruskin, “Sesame and Lilies” (1865)
- There is only one thing that can kill the movies, and that is education.
- Will Rogers (1949) The Autobiography of Will Rogers.
- We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought.
- Bertrand Russell Sceptical Essays (1928)
- 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.
- Bertrand Russell, Education and the Social Order (1932)
- Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education.
- Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy (1945), Book Three, Part II, Chapter XXI: Currents of Thought in the Nineteenth Century, p. 722.
- The greater part of humanity is too much harassed and fatigued by the struggle with want, to rally itself for a new and sterner struggle with error. Satisfied if they themselves can escape from the hard labour of thought, they willingly abandon to others the guardianship of their thoughts.
- Friedrich Schiller, The Aesthetic Education of Man, Eighth Letter
- Truth that has been merely learned is like an artificial limb, a false tooth, a waxen nose; at best, like a nose made out of another’s flesh; it adheres to us only because it is put on. But truth acquired by thinking of our own is like a natural limb; it alone really belongs to us. This is the fundamental difference between the thinker and the mere man of learning.
- Arthur Schopenhauer, “On Thinking for Oneself,” Parerga und Paralipomena, Vol. 2, § 260
- The schools we go to are reflections of the society that created them. Nobody is going to give you the education you need to overthrow them. Nobody is going to teach you your true history, teach you your true heroes, if they know that that knowledge will help set you free. Schools in amerika are interested in brainwashing people with amerikanism, giving them a little bit of education, and training them in skills needed to fill the position the capitalist system requires. As long as we expect amerika's schools to educate us, we will remain ignorant.
- Assata Shakur, Autobiography (1987)
- If you teach a man anything he will never learn it.
- George Bernard Shaw, Back to Methuselah (1922)
- Widespread ignorance bordering on idiocy is our new national goal. ... The ideal citizen of a politically corrupt state, such as the one we now have, is a gullible dolt unable to tell truth from bullshit. An educated, well-informed population, the kind that a functioning democracy requires, would be difficult to lie to, and could not be led by the nose by the various vested interests running amok in this country.
- Different views of the same truths are seldom disagreeable to men of taste, and are equally useful to beginners with the writings of different authors upon the same subject.
- A liberal education is that which aims to develop faculty without ulterior views of profession or other means of gaining a livelihood. It considers man an end in himself and not an instrument whereby something is to be wrought. Its ideal is human perfection.
- John Lancaster Spalding, Aphorisms and Reflections (1901), p. 234
- The education of the child must accord both in mode and arrangement with the education of mankind, considered historically. In other words, the genesis of knowledge in the individual, must follow the same course as the genesis of knowledge in the race. In strictness, this principle may be considered as already expressed by implication; since both being processes of evolution, must conform to those same general laws of evolution... and must therefore agree with each other. Nevertheless this particular parallelism is of value for the specific guidance it affords. To M. Comte we believe society owes the enunciation of it; and we may accept this item of his philosophy without at all committing ourselves to the rest.
- Education is a weapon the effect of which is determined by the hands which wield it, by who is to be stuck down.
- Joseph Stalin, “Stalin-Wells Talk: The Verbatim Report and A Discussion”, G.B. Shaw, J.M. Keynes et al., London, The New Statesman and Nation, (1934) p. 5
- If there be an order in which the human race has mastered its various kinds of knowledge, there will arise in every child an aptitude to acquire these kinds of knowledge in the same order. So that even were the order intrinsically indifferent, it would facilitate education to lead the individual mind through the steps traversed by the general mind. But the order is not intrinsically indifferent; and hence the fundamental reason why education should be a repetition of civilization in little.
- Herbert Spencer, Education: Intellectual, Moral, and Physical (1861)
- It is provable both that the historical sequence was, in its main outlines, a necessary one; and that the causes which determined it apply to the child as to the race. ... As the mind of humanity placed in the midst of phenomena and striving to comprehend them has, after endless comparisons, speculations, experiments, and theories, reached its present knowledge of each subject by a specific route; it may rationally be inferred that the relationship between mind and phenomena is such as to prevent this knowledge from being reached by any other route; and that as each child's mind stands in this same relationship to phenomena, they can be accessible to it only through the same route. Hence in deciding upon the right method of education, an inquiry into the method of civilization will help to guide us.
- Herbert Spencer, Education: Intellectual, Moral, and Physical (1861)
- It is safer to try to understand the low in the light of the high than the high in the light of the low. In doing the latter one necessarily distorts the high, whereas in doing the former one does not deprive the low of the freedom to reveal itself as fully as what it is.
- Leo Strauss, Liberalism Ancient and Modern (1968)
- Liberal education, which consists in the constant intercourse with the greatest minds, is a training in the highest form of modesty. … It is at the same time a training in boldness. … It demands from us the boldness implied in the resolve to regard the accepted views as mere opinions, or to regard the average opinions as extreme opinions which are at least as likely to be wrong as the most strange or least popular opinions.
- Leo Strauss, “What is liberal education,” Liberalism, Ancient and Modern (1968), p. 8
- Liberal education is liberation from vulgarity. The Greeks had a beautiful word for “vulgarity”; they called it apeirokalia, lack of experience in things beautiful. Liberal education supplies us with experience in things beautiful.
- Leo Strauss, “What is liberal education,” Liberalism, Ancient and Modern (1968), p. 8
- How strange it seems that education, in practice, so often means suppression: that instead of leading the mind outward to the light of day it crowds things in upon it that darken and weary it. Yet evidently the true object of education, now as ever, is to develop the capabilities of the head and of the heart.
- Louis Sullivan, in "Emotional Architecture as Compared to Intellectual : A Study in Subjective and Objective", an address to the American Institute of Architects (October 1894)
- What are books but folly, and what is an education but an arrant hypocrisy, and what is art but a curse when they touch not the heart and impel it not to action?
- Louis Sullivan, in Kindergarten Chats (1918), Ch. 36 : Another City
- Children arrived at the age of maturity belong, not to the parents, but to the State, to society, to the country.
- John Swett, History of the Public School System of California, San Francisco: CA, Bancroft (1876) p. 113
- Teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.
- Talmud, Tractate Shabat 31a.
- The public, therefore, among a democratic people, has a singular power, which aristocratic nations cannot conceive; for it does not persuade others to its beliefs, but it imposes them and makes them permeate the thinking of everyone by a sort of enormous pressure of the mind of all upon the individual intelligence. In the United States the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own. Everybody there adopts great numbers of theories, on philosophy, morals, and politics, without inquiry, upon public trust; and if we examine it very closely, it will be perceived that religion itself holds sway there much less as a doctrine of revelation than as a commonly received opinion.
- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Volume 2, Book 1, Chapter 2, J. Spencer, trans.
- The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see.
- Alexandra K. Trenfor, in a widely used internet quote.
- I had been to school most all the time and could spell and read and write just a little, and could say the multiplication table up to six times seven is thirty-five, and I don't reckon I could ever get any further than that if I was to live forever. I don't take no stock in mathematics anyway.
At first I hated school, but by and by I got so I could stand it. Whenever I got uncommon tired I played hookey, and the hiding I got the next day done me good and cheered me up. So the longer I went to school the easier it got to be.
- Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.
- Mark Twain, Mark Twain's Notebook (1898)
- I hated school so intensely. It interfered with my freedom. I avoided the discipline by an elaborate technique of being absent-minded during classes.
- Sigrid Undset, 1928 Nobel Prize in literature; quoted in Twentieth Century Authors, Kunitz and Haycraft, editors (1942), page 1432.
- Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select – doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. I am going beyond my facts and I admit it, but so have the advocates of the contrary and they have been doing it for many thousands of years.
- John B. Watson. Behaviorism (Revised edition). (1930). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p.82.
- If you give a man a fish he is hungry again in an hour. If you teach him to catch a fish you do him a good turn.
- The prevailing conception is that education must be such as will enable one to acquire enough wealth to live on the plane of the bourgeoisie. That kind of education does not develop the aristocratic virtues. It neither encourages reflection nor inspires reverence for the good.
- Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences (Chicago: 1948), p. 49
- There is no difficulty in securing enough agreement for action on the point that education should serve the needs of the people. But all hinges on the interpretation of needs; if the primary need of man is to perfect his spiritual being … then education of the mind and the passions will take precedence over all else. The growth of materialism, however, has made this a consideration remote and even incomprehensible to the majority.
- Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences (Chicago: 1948), p. 49
- Education is a process by which the individual is developed into something better than he would have been without it. … The very thought seems in a way the height of presumption. For one thing, it involves the premise that some human beings can be better than others.
- Richard Weaver, “Education and the individual,” Life Without Prejudice (Chicago: 1965), p. 43
- The development of the faculty of attention forms the real object and almost the sole interest of studies.
- Simone Weil, Waiting for God (1951), p. 51
- A liberal Education ought to include both Permanent Studies which connect men with the culture of past generations, and Progressive Studies which make them feel their community with the present generation, its businesses, interests and prospects.
- In training a child to activity of thought, above all things we must beware of what I will call "inert ideas"-that is to say, ideas that are merely received into the mind without being utilised, or tested, or thrown into fresh combinations.
In the history of education, the most striking phenomenon is that schools of learning, which at one epoch are alive with a ferment of genius, in a succeeding generation exhibit merely pedantry and routine. The reason is, that they are overladen with inert ideas. Education with inert ideas is not only useless: it is, above all things, harmful - Corruptio optimi, pessima [the corruption of the best is the worst].
- Alfred North Whitehead, “The Aims of Education,” Presidential address to the Mathematical Association of England, 1916
- 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, as quoted in Philippine Almanac (1986), p. 344
- We live in the age of the overworked, and the under-educated; the age in which people are so industrious that they become absolutely stupid.
- Oscar Wilde, Gilbert, in The Critic as Artist, pt. 2, Intentions (1891)
- The thoroughly well-informed man—that is the modern ideal. And the mind of the thoroughly well-informed man is a dreadful thing. It is like a bric-à-brac shop, all monsters and dust, with everything priced above its proper value.
- Oscar Wilde, Lord Henry, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890), ch. 1, Complete Works (New York: 1989), p. 25
- The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly—that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to one’s self. Of course, they are charitable. They feed the hungry and clothe the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked.
- Oscar Wilde, Lord Henry to Dorian, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890), ch. 2, pp. 28-29
- Dorian ... never fell into the error of arresting his intellectual development by any formal acceptance of creed or system, or of mistaking, for a house in which to live, an inn that is but suitable for the sojourn of a night,
- Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890), ch. 11, p. 106
- When you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his "proper place" and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary.
- Carter G. Woodson The Mis-Education of the Negro (1969 ), p. 21
- The oppressor has always indoctrinated the weak with his interpretation of the crimes of the strong.
- Carter G. Woodson The Mis-Education of the Negro (1969 ), p. 131
- Education is not a function of any church — or even of a city — or a state; it is a function of all mankind.
- Philip Wylie, in Generation of Vipers (1942), p. 324
- Education is one of the blessings of life — and one of its necessities.
- It is said that heaven does not create one man above or below another man. Any existing distinction between the wise and the stupid, between the rich and the poor, comes down to a matter of education.
- Fukuzawa Yukichi Gakumon no Susume [An Encouragement of Learning] (1872–1876)
- Therefore, to teach them [women] at least an outline of economics and law is the first requirement after giving them a general education. Figuratively speaking, it will be like providing the women of civilized society with a pocket dagger for self-protection.
- Fukuzawa Yukichi From Fukuzawa Yukichi on Japanese Women (1988), trans. Kiyooka Eiichi.
Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989)
- Education is the cheap defence of nations.
- Attributed to Edmund Burke. Charles Noël Douglas, comp., Forty Thousand Quotations (1921), p. 573. Reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989).
- Upon the education of the people of this country the fate of this country depends.
- Benjamin Disraeli, speech, House of Commons (June 15, 1874). Parliamentary Debates (Commons), 3d series, vol. 219, col. 1618 (1874).
- 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. It's knowing where to go to find out what you need to know; and it's knowing how to use the information you get.
- Attributed to William Feather, reported in August Kerber, Quotable Quotes on Education, p. 17 (1968). Reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989).
- By educating the young generation along the right lines, the People's State will have to see to it that a generation of mankind is formed which will be adequate to this supreme combat that will decide the destinies of the world.
- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, trans. James Murphy, p. 357 (1939).
- The benefits of education and of useful knowledge, generally diffused through a community, are essential to the preservation of a free government.
- Attributed to Sam Houston by the University of Texas. This quotation appears on the verso of the title-page of all University of Texas publications. Reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989).
- Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to P. S. du Pont de Nemours (April 24, 1816); reported in Henry Augustine Washington, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson: Being His Autobiography, Correspondence, Reports, Messages, Addresses, And Other Writings, Official and Private, Volume 5 (1854), p. 592. This sentence is one of many quotations inscribed on Cox Corridor II, a first floor House corridor, U.S. Capitol.
- I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Charles Jarvis, September 28, 1820. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Paul L. Ford, vol. 10 (1899), p. 161.
- If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents. There is no safe deposit for these but with the people themselves; nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe.
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Colonel Charles Yancey, January 6, 1816. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Paul L. Ford, vol. 10 (1899), p. 4.
- Every child must be encouraged to get as much education as he has the ability to take. We want this not only for his sake—but for the nation's sake. Nothing matters more to the future of our country: not military preparedness—for armed might is worthless if we lack the brain power to build a world of peace; not our productive economy—for we cannot sustain growth without trained manpower; not our democratic system of government—for freedom is fragile if citizens are ignorant.
- President Lyndon B. Johnson, special message to the Congress, "Toward Full Educational Opportunity," January 12, 1965. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965, book 1, p. 26.
- I ask that you offer to the political arena, and to the critical problems of our society which are decided therein, the benefit of the talents which society has helped to develop in you. I ask you to decide, as Goethe put it, whether you will be an anvil—or a hammer. The question is whether you are to be a hammer—whether you are to give to the world in which you were reared and educated the broadest possible benefits of that education.
- John F. Kennedy, commencement address, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, June 8, 1958. Transcript, p. 2. The Home Book of Quotations, ed. Burton Stevenson, 9th ed., p. 84, no. 8 (1964) gives the quotation from Goethe as follows: "Thou must (in commanding and winning, or serving and losing, suffering or triumphing) be either anvil or hammer," citing his play, Der Gross-Cophta, act II, though it has not been found there.
- If you plan for a year, plant a seed. If for ten years, plant a tree. If for a hundred years, teach the people. When you sow a seed once, you will reap a single harvest. When you teach the people, you will reap a hundred harvests.
- Kuan Chung, Kuan-tzu (Book of Master Kuan). Kuan tzu chi p'ing, ed. Ling Juheng, vol. 1, p. 12 (1970). Title romanized.
- 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, letter to W. T. Barry, August 4, 1822. The Writings of James Madison, ed. Gaillard Hunt, vol. 9, p. 105 (1910). These words are inscribed in the Madison Memorial Hall, Library of Congress James Madison Memorial Building.
- What spectacle can be more edifying or more seasonable, than that of Liberty & Learning, each leaning on the other for their mutual & surest support?
- James Madison, letter to W. T. Barry, August 4, 1822. The Writings of James Madison, ed. Gaillard Hunt, vol. 9, p. 108 (1910). These words are inscribed to the right of the main entrance of the Library of Congress James Madison Memorial Building.
- 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, twelfth annual report to the Massachusetts State Board of Education, 1848. Life and Works of Horace Mann, ed. Mrs. Mary Mann, vol. 3, p. 669 (1868).
- I also desire to encourage and foster an appreciation of the advantages which I implicitly believe will result from the union of the English-speaking peoples throughout the world and to encourage in the students from the United States of North America[,] who will benefit from the American Scholarships to be established for the reason above given at the University of Oxford under this my Will[,] an attachment to the country from which they have sprung but without I hope withdrawing them or their sympathies from the land of their adoption or birth.
- Cecil J. Rhodes, The Last Will and Testament of Cecil John Rhodes, ed. W. T. Stead, p. 24–29 (1902). The will was dated July 1, 1899.
- To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.
- Attributed to Theodore Roosevelt. August Kerber, Quotable Quotes of Education, p. 138 (1968). Reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989).
- Education has for its object the formation of character. To curb restive propensities, to awaken dormant sentiments, to strengthen the perceptions, and cultivate the tastes, to encourage this feeling and repress that, so as finally to develop the child into a man of well proportioned and harmonious nature—this is alike the aim of parent and teacher.
- Herbert Spencer, Social Statics, part 2, chapter 17, p. 180 (1851).
- These ceremonies and the National Statuary Hall will teach the youth of the land in succeeding generations as they come and go that the chief end of human effort in a sublunary view should be usefulness to mankind, and that all true fame which should be perpetuated by public pictures, statues, and monuments, is to be acquired only by noble deeds and high achievements and the establishment of a character founded upon the principles of truth, uprightness, and inflexible integrity.
- Alexander H. Stephens, remarks in the House, February 15, 1881, upon Vermont's presentation of a statue of Jacob Collamer to Statuary Hall. Congressional Record, vol. 11, p. 1611.
- "Via ovicipitum dura est," or, for the benefit of the engineers among you: "The way of the egghead is hard."
- Adlai Stevenson, lecture at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 17, 1954. Stevenson, Call to Greatness, p. xi (1954).
- In point of substantial merit the law school belongs in the modern university no more than a school of fencing or dancing.
- Thorstein Veblen, The Higher Learning in America, p. 211 (1918).
- In the conditions of modern life the rule is absolute, the race which does not value trained intelligence is doomed. Not all your heroism, not all your social charm, not all your wit, not all your victories on land or at sea, can move back the finger of fate. To-day we maintain ourselves. To-morrow science will have moved forward yet one more step, and there will be no appeal from the judgment which will then be pronounced on the uneducated.
- Alfred North Whitehead, "The Aims of Education—a Plea for Reform," The Organisation of Thought, chapter 1, p. 28 (1917, reprinted 1974).
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), pp. 216–18.
- Brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel.
- Acts, XXII. 3.
- Culture is "To know the best that has been said and thought in the world."
- Matthew Arnold, Literature and Dogma (1873), preface.
- Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; morals, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.
- Francis Bacon, Essays, Of Studies.
- Education commences at the mother's knee, and every word spoken within the hearsay of little children tends towards the formation of character.
- Hosea Ballou, MS, Sermons.
- But to go to school in a summer morn,
Oh, it drives all joy away!
Under a cruel eye outworn,
The little ones spend the day—
In sighing and dismay.
- William Blake, The Schoolboy, Stanza 2.
- Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.
- Attributed to Lord Brougham.
- Let the soldier be abroad if he will, he can do nothing in this age. There is another personage,—a personage less imposing in the eyes of some, perhaps insignificant. The schoolmaster is abroad, and I trust to him, armed with his primer, against the soldier, in full military array.
- Lord Brougham, Speech. Jan. 29, 1828. Phrase "Look out, gentlemen, the schoolmaster is abroad" first used by Brougham, in 1825, at London Mechanics' Institution, referring to the secretary, John Reynolds, a schoolmaster.
- Every schoolboy hath that famous testament of Grunnius Corocotta Porcellus at his fingers' ends.
- Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part III, Section I. Mem. I. 1.
- "Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with," the Mock Turtle replied, "and the different branches of Arithmetic—Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland, Chapter X.
- No con quien naces, sino con quien paces.
- To be in the weakest camp is to be in the strongest school.
- G. K. Chesterton, Heretics.
- Quod enim munus reipublicæ afferre majus, meliusve possumus, quam si docemus atque erudimus juventutem?
- What greater or better gift can we offer the republic than to teach and instruct our youth?
- Cicero, De Divinatione, II. 2.
- How much a dunce that has been sent to roam
Excels a dunce that has been kept at home.
- William Cowper, Progress of Error, line 410.
- The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.
- Diogenes (according to Stobæus).
- The Self-Educated are marked by stubborn peculiarities.
- Isaac D'Israeli, Literary Character, Chapter VI.
- By education most have been misled.
- John Dryden, The Hind and Panther, Part III, line 389.
- My definition of a University is Mark Hopkins at one end of a log and a student on the other.
- Tradition well established that James A. Garfield used the phrase at a New York Alumni Dinner in 1872. No such words are found, however. A letter of his, Jan., 1872, contains the same line of thought.
- Impartially their talents scan,
Just education forms the man.
- John Gay, The Owl, Swan, Cock, Spider, Ass, and the Farmer. To a Mother, line 9.
- Of course everybody likes and respects self-made men. It is a great deal better to be made in that way than not to be made at all.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (1858), line 1.
- The true purpose of education is to cherish and unfold the seed of immortality already sown within us; to develop, to their fullest extent, the capacities of every kind with which the God who made us has endowed us.
- Mrs. Jameson, Education, Winter Studies and Summer Rambles.
- Much may be made of a Scotchman if he be caught young.
- But it was in making education not only common to all, but in some sense compulsory on all, that the destiny of the free republics of America was practically settled.
- James Russell Lowell, Among my Books, New England Two Centuries Ago.
- Finally, education alone can conduct us to that enjoyment which is, at once, best in quality and infinite in quantity.
- Horace Mann, Lectures and Reports on Education, Lecture 1.
- Enflamed with the study of learning, and the admiration of virtue; stirred up with high hopes of living to be brave men, and worthy patriots, dear to God, and famous to all ages.
- John Milton, Tract on Education.
- Der preussiche Schulmeister hat die Schlacht bei Sadowa gewonnen.
- The Prussian schoolmaster won the battle of Sadowa.
- Von Moltke, in the Reichstag (Feb. 16, 1874).
- Tempore ruricolæ patiens fit taurus aratri.
- In time the bull is brought to wear the yoke.
- Ovid, Tristia, 4. 6. 1. Translation by Thomas Watson. Hecatompathia. No. 47.
- The victory of the Prussians over the Austrians was a victory of the Prussian over the Austrian schoolmaster.
- Privy Councillor Peschel, in Ausland, No. 19. July 17, 1866.
- Education is the only interest worthy the deep, controlling anxiety of the thoughtful man.
- Wendell Phillips, Speeches, Idols.
- Lambendo paulatim figurant.
- Licking a cub into shape (free rendering).
- Pliny the Elder, Natural History, VIII. 36.
- So watchful Bruin forms with plastic care,
Each growing lump and brings it to a bear.
- Alexander Pope, Dunciad, I. 101.
- Then take him to develop, if you can
And hew the block off, and get out the man.
- Alexander Pope, Dunciad, IV. 269. A notion of Aristotle's that there was originally in every block of marble, a statue, which would appear on the removal of the superfluous parts.
- 'Tis education forms the common mind;
Just as the twig is bent the tree's inclined.
- Alexander Pope, Moral Essays (1731-35), Epistle I, line 149.
- Twelve years ago I made a mock
Of filthy trades and traffics;
I considered what they meant by stock;
I wrote delightful sapphics;
I knew the streets of Rome and Troy,
I supped with Fates and Fairies—
Twelve years ago I was a boy,
A happy boy at Drury's.
- W. M. Praed, School and Schoolfellows.
- He can write and read and cast accompt.
We took him setting of boys' copies.
Here's a villain!
- In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.
- God hath blessed you with a good name: to be a well-favored man is the gift of fortune, but to write and read comes by nature.
- Only the refined and delicate pleasures that spring from research and education can build up barriers between different ranks.
- Anne Louise Germaine de Staël, Corinne (1807), Book IX, Chapter I.
- Oh how our neighbour lifts his nose,
To tell what every schoolboy knows.
- Jonathan Swift, Century Life.
- Every school-boy knows it.
- Jeremy Taylor, On the Real Presence, Section V, 1. Phrase attributed to Macaulay from his frequent use of it.
- Of an old tale which every schoolboy knows.
- William Whitehead, The Roman Father, Prologue.
- Still sits the school-house by the road,
A ragged beggar sunning;
Around it still the sumachs grow
And blackberry vines are running.
- John Greenleaf Whittier, In School Days.
- Slavery is but half abolished, emancipation is but half completed, while millions of freemen with votes in their hands are left without education.
- Robert C. Winthrop, Yorktown Oration, (Oct. 19, 1881).
- Liberal education
- Vocational education