Education quotations

Hannah Arendt: “Education is the point at which we decide whether we love the world enough to assume responsibility for it and by the same token save it from that ruin which, except for renewal, except for the coming of the new and young, would be inevitable.”

Catherine Belsey: “Education consists above all of expanding our vocabularies so we can think a wider range of thoughts, differentiate more sharply between positions, argue more cogently for one as opposed to another.”

Ambrose Bierce: “Education: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.” (The Devil’s Dictionary)

Jerome Bruner: “Education is too consequential to too many constituencies to leave to professional educators.”

Angela Carter: “Reading is just as creative an activity as writing, and most intellectual development depends upon new readings of old texts. I am all for putting new wine in old bottles, especially if the pressure of the new wine makes the old bottles explode.”

Clyde Chitty: “One of the great tragedies of the last 100 years has been our failure as a nation to take on the essential concept of human educability and thereby challenge the idea that children are born with a given quota of “intelligence” which remains constant both during childhood and adult life.”

K. J. Connolly: “Differences offer hope because they provide the possibility of alternative routes for development, educational and personal fulfilment. We should rejoice in them and capitalise on them. They are, after all, the very stuff of life.”

Rene Descartes: “Doubt is the origin of wisdom.” (Dubium sapientiae initium)

John Dewey: “The necessity of testing thought by action if thought is to pass into knowledge.”

“Like Alice, the teacher must step with their children behind the looking-glass and in this imaginative lens must see all things with their eyes and limited by their experience; but in time of need, they must be able to recover their trained vision and from the realistic point of view of an adult supply the guide posts of knowledge and the skills of method.”

“A school that would keep theoretical work in touch with the demands of practice.”

“The kind of vocational education in which I am interested is not one which will adapt workers to the existing industrial regime…but a kind of vocational education which will first alter the existing industrial system and ultimately transform it.”

“Achievement comes to denote the sort of thing that a well planned machine can do better than a human being can and the main effect of education, the achieving of a life of rich significance, drops by the wayside.”

“Education is a social process.”

“We only think when we are confronted with a problem.”

“Conflict is the gadfly of thought.”

Emily Dickinson: “The Possible’s slow fuse is lit / By the Imagination.”

William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) Du Bois: “Education must not simply teach work – it must teach life.”

Charles DuBos: “The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.”

Albert Einstein: “The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

 “The only source of knowledge is experience.”

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

Benjamin Franklin: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Galileo Galilei: “I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him.”

Mahatma Gandhi: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever.”

Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss): “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”

“What you have inherited from your forefathers you must first win for yourself if you are to possess it.”

Maxine Greene: “The child is an image of becoming, of probability, poised to reach towards what it is not yet, towards a growing that cannot be predetermined or prescribed.”

“World class achievement and benchmarks seem superficial, if not absurd, in a world filled with inequality, fear and uncertainty.”

Dwayne Huebner: “Education is the openness to a future that is beyond all futures. Education is the protest against present forms that they may be reformed and transformed.”

Doris Lessing: “What matters most is that we learn from living.”

“Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so.”

Maori saying: “Through learning there is life.” (Ma te mohio ka ora.)

Karl Marx: “The materialist doctrine that men are products of circumstances and upbringing, and that, therefore, changed men are products of changed circumstances and changed upbringing, forgets that it is men who change circumstances and that the educator must himself be educated.”

Michel de Montaigne: “It is good to rub and polish our brain against that of others.”

The prophet Muhammad: “Acquire knowledge; it is our friend in the desert, our society in solitude, our companion when friendless, it guides us to happiness, it sustains us in misery, it is an ornament among friends and a shield against enemies.”

Charlie Parker: “Master your instrument, master the music and then forget all that bullshit and just play.”

Marcel Proust: “We can receive the truth from nobody, we must create it ourselves.”

Carl Rogers: “Significant learning contains the logical and the intuitive, the intellect and the feelings, the concept and the experience, the idea and the meaning.”

Eleanor Roosevelt: “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”

John Ruskin: “The entire object of education is to make people…not merely learned but to love knowledge, …not merely just but to hunger and thirst after justice.”

Pablo Sarasate: “A genius! I have practised 14 hours a day for 37 years and now they call me a genius!”

Richard Sennett: “Technique develops by a dialectic between the correct way to do something and the willingness to experiment through error.”

George Bernard Shaw: “What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.”

Rabindranath Tagore: “Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; where knowledge is free; where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; where words come out from the depth of truth; where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection; where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; where the mind is led forward…into ever-widening thought and action.”

Henry David Thoreau: “Be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought.”

Lev Vygotsky: “Development is precisely the struggle of opposites.”

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

Frank Zappa: “The mind is like a parachute – it works only when it is open.”

Theodore Zeldin: “All invention and progress comes from finding a link between two ideas that have never met.”

“Individuals cannot be intelligent on their own, they need someone else to stimulate them.”


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