Sunday, May 13, 2007

Quotes about Education (for Teacher Appreciation Week)

The following is a list of quotes about education. I collected these (from many, many sources, reading and lists) over a couple of years, for use on Teacher appreciation Day at our school. I print these, one to a page in a very large font. A team of parents plasters the entire school with them, in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week.

If you'd like to download the subset of this list that we use to "decorate" the school: It's available here

Many people ask for this list. How nice to have it safe and sound in this blog!

(List is alphabetical by author)


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

You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance. -- Franklin P. Adams

Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers. -- Josef Albers

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. -- Aristotle

Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity. -- Aristotle

Education is the best provision for the journey to old age. -- Aristotle

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. -- Aristotle

Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach. -- Aristotle


An educated person is one who has learned that information almost always turns out to be at best incomplete and very often false, misleading, fictitious, mendacious - just dead wrong. --Russell Baker

A good teacher is a master of simplification and an enemy of simplism. -- Louis A. Berman

Teaching is leaving a vestige of one self in the development of another. And surely the student is a bank where you can deposit your most precious treasures. -- Eugene P. Bertin

Education: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.-- Ambrose Bierce

Learning: The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious. -- Ambrose Bierce

Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know. -- Daniel J. Boorstin


Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another. -- Gilbert K. Chesterton

No man who worships education has got the best out of education... Without a gentle contempt for education no man's education is complete. -- Gilbert K. Chesterton

The empires of the future are the empires of the mind. -- Winston Churchill

What nobler employment, or more valuable to the state, than that of the man who instructs the rising generation. -- Cicero

The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate "apparently ordinary" people to unusual effort. The tough problem is not in identifying winners: it is in making winners out of ordinary people. -- K. Patricia Cross


Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.-- John Dewey

When asked what learning was the most necessary, he said, "Not to unlearn what you have learned!" -- Diogenes

When a subject becomes totally obsolete we make it a required course. -- Peter F. Drucker

Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. -- Will Durant

Education is the transmission of civilization. -- Will Durant


It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. --
Albert Einstein

No one can become really educated without having pursued some study in which he took no interest. -- T.S. Eliot

Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant. -- Epictetus

Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army. -- Edward Everett


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

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

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. -- Benjamin Franklin

Genius without education is like silver in the mine. -- Benjamin Franklin

He that composes himself is wiser than he that composes a book. -- Benjamin Franklin

If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him. --Benjamin Franklin

The doors of wisdom are never shut. -- Benjamin Franklin

The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance. --Benjamin Franklin

Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age? -- Erich Fromm

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence. -- Robert Frost

Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants. -- John W. Gardner

The teacher, if indeed wise, does not bid you to enter the house of their wisdom, but leads you to the threshold of your own mind. -- Kahlil Gibran

Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths pure theatre. -- Gail Godwin
No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure. -- Emma Goldman
No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness, and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure. --Emma Goldman

In the schoolhouse, we have the heart of the whole society. -- Henry Golden

The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. -- Sydney J. Harris

If the Romans had been obliged to learn Latin, they would never have found time to conquer the world. -- Heinrich Heine

He who opens a school door, closes a prison. -- Victor Hugo

The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives. -- Robert M. Hutchins

Education can be dangerous. It is very difficult to make it not dangerous. In fact, it is almost impossible. -- Robert M. Hutchins


It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense. -- Robert Green Ingersoll


To teach is to learn twice. -- Joseph Joubert

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child. -- Carl Jung


Where there is an open mind there will always be a frontier. -- Charles F. Kettering


Education is the guardian genius of democracy. It is the only dictator that free men recognize, and the only ruler that free men require. -- Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar

Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people may be engaged in. -- Abraham Lincoln


What office is there which involves more responsibility, which requires more qualifications, and which ought, therefore, to be more honourable, than that of teaching? -- Harriet Martineau
I touch the future. I teach. -- Christa McAuliffe

I think everyone should go to college and get a degree and then spend six months as a bartender and six months as a cabdriver. Then they would really be educated. -- Al McGuire

What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches. -- Karl Menninger

To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks. -- A. A. Milne



Knowledge rests on knowledge; what is new is meaningful because it departs slightly from what was known before. -- Robert Oppenheimer

Only the mind cannot be sent into exile. -- Ovid


In the fields of observation, chance favors only the prepared mind. -- Louis Pasteur

The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited. -- Plutarch


If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn't want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher's job. -- Donald D. Quinn


The simplest schoolboy is now familiar with truths for which Archimedes would have sacrificed his life. -- Ernest Renan

The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change. Carl Rogers


Frederick Douglass taught that literacy is the path from slavery to freedom. There are many kinds of slavery and many kinds of freedom. But reading is still the path. -- Carl Sagan

The great difficulty in education is to get experience out of ideas. -- George Santayana

To me the sole hope of human salvation lies in teaching. -- George Bernard Shaw

Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten. -- B. F.


The world itself rests upon the breath of the children in our schools. -- Talmud,
Mishna Sanhedrin 4:5

For the unlearned, old age is winter; for the learned it is the season of the harvest. --

Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, 'Grow, grow.' --

He who adds not to his learning diminishes it. -- Talmud

When you teach your son, you teach your son's son. -- Talmud

I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework. -- Lily Tomlin

It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. -- Harry S. Truman

The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them. --
Mark Twain



The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. -- William Arthur Ward
Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe. -- H.G. Wells
The limits of your language are the limits of your world. -- Ludwig Wittgenstein


Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. -- William Butler Yeats

More is to be got from one teacher than from two books.
If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
We think of the effective teachers we have had over the years with a sense of recognition, but those who have touched our humanity we remember with a deep sense of gratitude.
When brains are needed, muscles won't help.

Author Unknown:
Often, when I am reading a good book, I stop and thank my teacher. That is, I used to, until she got an unlisted number.

I'd like to compile as complete a list as possible. If you know any quotes about education that I have missed, please let me know in the comments, and I'll edit.

Thank you!

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