Thoughts on Education

Here are some thoughts on education from a wide variety of people, places, and times. Read through them and think about different concepts of what education is, how it works, and what it should accomplish. You can use these quotes when talking about education with those who are impressed with the words of “experts” or well-known people. Choose a quote to use as a motto or part of a statement of goals for your new homeschool. Print and hang the ones you personally find inspirational and read them often for motivation as you begin your homeschooling adventure.

The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think – rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men. ~ Bill Beattie Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. ~ William Butler Yeats
The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives. ~ Robert Maynard Hutchins The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change. ~ Carl Rogers
Education is what survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten. ~ B. F. Skinner All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. ~ Pablo Picasso
In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. ~ Eric Hoffer Education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living. ~ John Dewey
In the case of good books, the point is not how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you. ~ Mortimer Adler Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. ~ Nelson Mandela
I am always ready to learn, but I do not always like being taught. ~ Sir Winston Churchill It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense. ~ Robert Green Ingersoll
The function of education is to help you from childhood not to imitate anybody, but be yourself all the time. ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti I have never let my schooling interfere with my education ~ Mark Twain
The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in a closet. ~ Lord Chesterfield Information cannot replace education. ~ Imparato and Itarari
You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself. ~ Galileo A mind is a fire to be kindled, not a vessel to be filled. ~ Plutarch
We owe almost all our knowledge not to those who have agreed, but to those who have differed. ~ Charles Caleb Colton The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without a teacher. ~ Elbert Hubbard
The principal goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done. ~ Jean Piaget Education … has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading. ~ G. M. Trevelyan
Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school. ~ Albert Einstein What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child. ~ George Bernard Shaw
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. ~ Albert Einstein Education is not the answer to the question. Education is the means to the answer to all questions. ~ William Allin
An educational system isn’t worth a great deal if it teaches young people how to make a living but doesn’t teach them how to make a life. ~ Source Unknown It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated. ~ Alec Bourne
It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot, irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it. ~ J. Bronowski The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself. ~ Edward Bulwer-Lytton
A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary. ~ Thomas Carruthers An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don’t. ~ Anatole France
I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think. ~ Socrates Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself. ~ Chinese Proverb
Education would be so much more effective if its purpose were to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they don’t know, and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it. ~ Sir William Haley I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built up on the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think. ~ Anne Sullivan
The whole object of education is…to develop the mind. The mind should be a thing that works. ~ Sherwood Anderson We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bellyful of words and do not know a thing. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
They say that we are better educated than our parents’ generation. What they mean is that we go to school longer. They are not the same thing. ~ Douglas Yates Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education. ~ Bertrand Russell
It is little short of a miracle that modern methods of instruction have not already completely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry…. I believe that one could even deprive a healthy beast of prey of its voraciousness if one could force it with a whip to eat continuously whether it were hungry or not… ~ Albert Einstein I’m sure the reason such young nitwits are produced in our schools is because they have no contact with anything of any use in everyday life. ~ Petronius
The things taught in colleges and schools are not an education, but the means of education. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson There is nothing so stupid as an educated man, if you get off the thing that he was educated in. ~ Will Rogers
Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts. ~ Henry Brooks Adams To trust children we must first learn to trust ourselves…and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted.” ~ John Holt

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