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Education

  • The process of education is not generally a process of teaching people to think and ask questions. It ... is mostly one of teaching the young what is and getting them into a mood where they will go on keeping it that way.

  • Stand firm in your refusal to remain conscious during algebra. In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra.

  • Learning without wisdom is a load of books on a donkey's back.

  • To repeat what others have said, requires education; to challenge it, requires brains.

  • It is curious that while one's education is the part of one's life over the conditions of which one has least individual control, the results of it are held to brand one irrevocably.

  • The highest result of education is tolerance.

  • In many college English courses the words 'myth' and 'symbol' are given a tremendous charge of significance. You just ain't no good unless you can see a symbol hiding, like a scared gerbil, under every page. And in many creative writing courses the little beasts multiply, the place swarms with them. What does this Mean? What does that Symbolize? What is the Underlying Mythos? Kids come lurching out of such courses with a brain full of gerbils.

  • Nowadays it seems that moral education is no longer considered necessary. Attention is wholly centered on intelligence, while the heart life is ignored.

    • George Sand,
    • 1837, in Marie Jenney Howe, ed., The Intimate Journal of George Sand ()
  • True teaching cannot be learned from text-books any more than a surgeon can acquire his skill by reading about surgery.

  • It is useless to deny that, unless one has a genius for imparting knowledge, teaching is a drudgery.

  • I am convinced that we must train not only the head, but the heart and hand as well.

  • Remember that the secret of all learning is patience and that curiosity is not the same thing as a thirst for knowledge.

  • What makes you imagine ... that anything of importance can be taught in a school?

  • When our children are old enough, and if we can afford to, we send them to college, where ... the point is to acquire the skills not of positive thinking but of critical thinking ...

  • The first idea that the child must acquire, in order to be actively disciplined, is that of the difference between good and evil; and the task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility, and evil with activity ...

  • The greatest triumph of our educational method should always be this: to bring about the spontaneous progress of the child.

  • ... adults look upon a child as something empty that is to be filled through their own efforts, as something inert and helpless for which they must do everything, as something lacking an inner guide and in constant need of inner direction. ... An adult who acts in this way, even though he may be convinced that he is filled with zeal, love, and a spirit of sacrifice on behalf of his child, unconsciously suppresses the development of the child's own personality.

  • Society is like the guardian of a child who has squandered his patrimony. Adults spend money on themselves and build what they want, when it is obvious that a great share of their wealth should be destined for their children. ... Nature furnishes no examples of adults who devour everything themselves and abandon their own offspring to misery. ... When, because of its wastefulness, society has an urgent need of money, it takes this from schools, and especially from the lower schools that shelter the seeds of life. It takes it from these schools since there are no voices to defend them. This is one of humanity's worst crimes and errors. Society does not even perceive that it causes double destruction when it uses this money to build instruments of war. It destroys by preventing life and bringing death, but the two are the result of a single error.

  • The greatness of the human personality begins at the hour of birth. From this almost mystic affirmation there comes what may seem a strange conclusion: that education must start from birth.

  • ... if education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it in the bettering of man's future.

  • Education, as conceived today, is something separated both from biological and social life.

  • The world of education is like an island where people, cut off from the world, are prepared for life by exclusion from it.

  • We teachers can only help the work going on, as servants wait upon a master.

  • ... the greatest sign of success for a teacher ... is to be able to say, 'The children are now working as if I did not exist.'

  • Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.

  • Equality! Where is it, if not in education? Equal rights! They cannot exist without equality of instruction.

  • ... he received most of his early schooling alone. In this way he may have escaped some educational dogmas and biases which often standardize a lively intellect.

  • The education that we have so far succeeded in giving to the bulk of our citizens has produced a generation of mental slatterns.

  • ... I believe that children long for form just as grownups do, and that it releases rather than cramps creative energy.

  • I cannot understand why poetry is not taught at schools as a way of seeing, a quick, untiring path to essentials.

    • May Sarton,
    • 1939, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Selected Letters 1916-1954 ()
  • Education is a wonderful thing. If you couldn't sign your name you'd have to pay cash.

  • A democratic form of government, a democratic way of life, presupposes free public education over a long period; it presupposes also an education for personal responsibility that too often is neglected.

    • Eleanor Roosevelt,
    • "Let Us Have Faith in Democracy," in Department of Agriculture, Land Policy Review ()
  • The mind must be trained, rather than the memory.

  • If we do not pay for children in good schools, then we are going to pay for them in prisons and mental hospitals.

  • The aim of totalitarian education has never been to instill convictions but to destroy the capacity to form any.

  • ... learning must travel the distance from head to heart.

    • Gloria Steinem,
    • introduction, in Bonnie Watkins and Nina Rothchild, eds., In the Company of Women ()
  • What would happen if we listened to children as much as we talked to them?

    • Gloria Steinem,
    • "A Balance Between Nature and Nurture," in Jay Allison and Dan Gediman, eds., This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women ()
  • I no longer believe the conservative message that children are naturally selfish and destructive creatures who need civilizing by hierarchies or painful controls. On the contrary, I believe that hierarchy and painful controls create destructive people. And I no longer believe the liberal message that children are blank slates on which society can write anything. On the contrary, I believe a unique core self is born into every human being; the result of millennia of environment and heredity combined in an unpredictable way that could never happen before or again.

    • Gloria Steinem,
    • "A Balance Between Nature and Nurture," in Jay Allison and Dan Gediman, eds., This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women ()
  • I wonder how many parents realize that by the so-called education they are giving their children, they are only driving them into the commonplace, and depriving them of any chance of doing anything beautiful or original.

  • One might say that the American trend of education is to reduce the senses almost to nil.

  • How learned every one is around examination time. Just to sit on the library steps and listen to the discussion is an education.

  • ... you ... may perhaps be brought to acknowledge that it is very well worthwhile to be tormented for two or three years of one's life, for the sake of being able to read all the rest of it.

  • Those who cannot remember clearly their own childhood are poor educators.

  • I wasn't educated. I was very lucky.

  • ... too much rigidity on the part of teachers should be followed by a brisk spirit of insubordination on the part of the taught.

  • Everybody is now so busy teaching that nobody has any time to learn.

  • Our belief in education is unbounded, our reverence for it is unfaltering, our loyalty to it is unshaken by reverses. Our passionate desire, not so much to acquire it as to bestow it, is the most animated of American traits.

  • It is because of our unassailable enthusiasm, our profound reverence for education, that we habitually demand of it the impossible. The teacher is expected to perform a choice and varied series of miracles.

  • It is as impossible to withhold education from the receptive mind, as it is impossible to force it upon the unreasoning.

  • There is no liberal education for the under-languaged.

  • It was hard to speed the male child up the stony heights of erudition, but it was harder still to check the female child at the crucial point, and keep her tottering decorously behind her brother.

  • The instruction furnished is not good enough for the youth of such a country ... There is not even any systematic instruction given on political morals: an enormous deficiency in a republic.

  • Some persons plead that there is less occasion for school instruction in the principles of politics, than for an improved teaching of some other things; because children are instructed in politics every day of their lives by what they hear at home, and wherever they go. But they hear all too little of principles. What they hear is argumentation about particular men, and immediate measures. The more sure they are of learning details elsewhere, the more necessary it is that they should here be exercised in those principles by which the details are to be judged and made available as knowledge. They come to school with their heads crammed with prejudices, and their memories with words, which it should be part of the work of school to reduce to truth and clearness, by substituting principles for the one, and annexing ideas to the other.

  • Culture — as we know it — is an instrument manipulated by teachers for manufacturing more teachers, who, in their turn, will manufacture still more teachers.

  • The intelligence can only be led by desire. For there to be desire, there must be pleasure and joy in the work. The intelligence only grows and bears fruit in joy. The joy of learning is as indispensable in study as breathing is in running. Where it is lacking there are no real students, but only poor caricatures of apprentices who, at the end of their apprenticeship, will not even have a trade.

  • Academic work is one of those fields which contain a pearl so precious that it is worth while to sell all our possessions, keeping nothing for ourselves, in order to be able to acquire it.

  • Ignorance, far more than idleness, is the mother of all the vices; and how recent has been the admission, that knowledge should be the portion of all? The destinies of the future lie in judicious education; an education that must be universal, to be beneficial.

  • I'm not sure at all that literature should be studied on the university level. ... Why should people study books? Isn't it rather silly to study Pride and Prejudice. Either you get it or you don't.

    • Susan Sontag,
    • in Elizabeth Janeway, ed., The Writer's World ()
  • ... the chief thing I learnt at school was how to tell lies.

  • ... the ladder was there from 'the gutter to the university,' and for those stalwart enough to ascend it, the schools were a boon and a path out of poverty.

  • Education must be taken out of the hands of rich illiterates, third rate politicians, and put where it belongs: in the care of scholars. At present the whole University system is rotten to the core, and an appalling waste of time, energy and money ...

  • It is ironical that in an age when we have prided ourselves on our progress in the intelligent care and teaching of children we have at the same time put them at the mercy of new and most terrible weapons of destruction.

  • ... he made the important scholastic discovery that a student who is belligerently thinking aloud is presumed to have done the reading.

  • ... most people did not care to be taught what they did not already know; it made them feel ignorant.

  • A good deal of education consists in un-learning — the breaking of bad habits as with a tennis serve.

  • ... it is a maxim here, that he who dies with studying dies in a good cause, and may go to another world much better calculated to improve his talents, than if he had died a blockhead.

    • Abigail Adams,
    • to her sister, Mrs. Shaw (1791), Letters of Mrs. Adams ()
  • I imagine good teaching as a circle of earnest people sitting down to ask each other meaningful questions. I don't see it as a handing down of answers. So much of what passes for teaching is merely a pointing out of what items to want.

  • Ignorance, arrogance, and racism have bloomed as Superior Knowledge in all too many universities.

    • Alice Walker,
    • "A Talk: Convocation 1972," In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens ()
  • The teachers of small children are paid more than they were, but still far less than the importance of their work deserves, and they are still regarded by the unenlightened majority as insignificant compared to those who impart information to older children and adolescents, a class of pupils which, in the nature of things, is vastly more able to protect its own individuality from the character of the teacher.

  • The classroom in the modern city child's life is the only equivalent for what used to be 'his community.'

  • The matter was that never before had [Betsy] known what she was doing in school. She had always thought she was there to pass from one grade to another, and she was ever so startled to get a glimpse of the fact that she weas there to learn how to use her mind, so she could take care of herself when she came to be grown up.

  • I realized with grief that purposeless activities in language arts are probably the burial grounds of language development and that coffins can be found in most classrooms, including mine.

  • 'Predigested food' should be inscribed over every hall of learning as a warning to all who do not wish to lose their own personalities and their original sense of judgment ...

    • Emma Goldman,
    • "The Child and Its Enemies," in Mother Earth ()
  • No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness, and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true educator should be to unlock that treasure ...

  • ... our present system of economic and political dependence is maintained not so much by wealth and courts as it is by an inert mass of humanity, drilled and pounded into absolute uniformity, and that the school today represents the most efficient medium to accomplish that end.

    • Emma Goldman,
    • "The Social Importance of the Modern School" (1912), in Alix Kates Shulman, ed., Red Emma Speaks ()
  • School was a worry to her. She was not glib or quick in a world where glibness and quickness were easily confused with ability to learn.

    • Tillie Olsen,
    • "I Stand Here Ironing," Tell Me A Riddle ()
  • I went to a women's college. ... it was a little like learning to swim while holding on to the side of the pool; I didn't learn the arm movements until after I graduated, but by that time I was one hell of a kicker.

  • I'm growing more and more to believe that our fundamental task as human beings is to seek out connections — to exercise our imaginations. It follows, then, that the basic task of education is the care and feeding of the imagination. We used to know this. Indeed, the earliest form of education was the telling of stories. But nowadays stories have been relegated to the realm of the frivolous. Education has chosen to emphasize decoding and computation rather than the cultivation of the imagination. We like, you see, what we can manage. We can decide what year we're going to teach which fact, function, or word, and we can give a child a multiple-choice test at the end to see if he has got it. We want our mathematics and our mythology strictly compartmentalized, for we know instinctively that the imagination is a wild, hardly tamable commodity. There is no way to measure it objectively, so anything in the curriculum that has to do with the growth of the inner life of a child we tend to classify as a frill and either shove it to the periphery or eliminate it from the curriculum altogether.

  • A teacher cannot be one thing and teach her children to be another.

  • It is in and through education that a culture, and polity, not only tries to perpetuate but enacts the kinds of thinking it welcomes, and discards and/or discredits the kinds it fears.

  • The object of all education is to make folks fit to live.

  • She passed in only two subjects ... intending to let the stream of education play gently over her mental surfaces and not get any wetter than she could help.

  • Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough.

  • ... when they learn of Caesar and his legions, we must teach them of Hannibal and his Africans; when they learn of Shakespeare and Goethe, we must teach them of Pushkin and Dumas.

    • Mary McLeod Bethune,
    • "Clarifying Our Vision With the Facts," in The Journal of Negro History ()
  • Corporal punishment is as humiliating for him who gives it as for him who receives it; it is ineffective besides. Neither shame nor physical pain have any other effect than a hardening one ...

  • For success in training children the first condition is to become as a child oneself ... to be as entirely and simply taken up with the child as the child himself is absorbed by his life.

  • Threads of meaning bind us to every other thing and to each other. Severing too many of the threads results in the death of the spirit. Education strays from reality when it divides its knowledge into separate compartments without due regard to the connection between them.

  • The experiences of childhood are rarely forgotten. They should be the brightest, happiest ones of life, and the teacher who needlessly darkens their memory has reason to feel both shame and sorrow.

  • We must create a climate where people agree that human beings are more alike than unalike. The only way to do that is through education.

  • Education is a process that goes on 'til death. The moment you see someone who knows she has found the one true way, and can call all the others false, then you know you're in the company of an ignoramus.

  • ... children must be taught how to think, not what to think.

  • I approached the idea of college with the expectation of taking part in an intellectual feast. ... In college, in some way that I devoutly believed in but could not explain, I expected to become a person.

  • I used to do miserably in English literature, which I thought was a sign of moral turpitude. As I look back on it, I think it was rather to my credit. The notion of actually putting writers' words into other words is quite ridiculous because why bother if writers mean what they mean, and if they don't, why read them? There is, I suppose, a case for studying literary works in depth, but I don't quite know what 'in depth' means unless you read a paragraph over and over again.

  • ... I have discovered that of all cursed places under the sun, where the hungriest soul can hardly pick up a few grains of knowledge, a girls' boarding-school is the worst. They are called finishing schools, and the name tells accurately what they are. They finish everything but imbecility and weakness, and that they cultivate. They are nicely adapted machines for experimenting on the question, 'Into how little space a human soul can be crushed?' I have seen some souls so compressed that they would have fitted into a small thimble, and found room to move there — wide room.

  • Spatial intelligence is virtually left out of formal education. In kindergarten we give children blocks and sand with which to build. Then we take those things away for the next twelve years of their education and expect kids to be architects and engineers.

    • Ann Lewin,
    • in Daniel Goleman, Paul Kaufman, and Michael Ray, The Creative Spirit ()
  • What good is school when you're hungry?

    • Leila Abouzeid,
    • "Divorce," in Elizabeth Warnock Fernea, Women and the Family in the Middle East ()
  • Education is what you learn in books, and nobody knows you know it but your teacher.

  • Theories and goals of education don't matter a whit if you don't consider your students to be human beings.

  • ... we should contract our ideas of education, and expect no more from it than it is able to perform.

  • Most higher education is devoted to affirming the traditions and origins of an existing elite and transmitting them to new members.

  • Schooling, instead of encouraging the asking of questions, too often discourages it.

  • [At age 14:] There were elderly gentlemen, who Daniel said were professors. They appeared to be suffering from the effects of too much learning; they were a different kind of people from any I had seen before.

  • To keep their mammouth plants financially solvent, many [educational] institutions have begun to use hard-sell, Madison Avenue techniques to attract students. They sell college like soap ...

  • A liberal-arts education is supposed to provide you with a value system, a standard, a set of ideas, not a job.

  • Equalizing opportunity through universal higher education subjects the whole population to the intellectual mode natural only to a few. It violates the fundamental egalitarian principle of respect for the differences between people.

  • College has become a glamorous and expensive way for the affluent society to keep its unemployed young people off the streets.

  • Art and religion first; then philosophy; lastly science. That is the order of the great subjects of life, that's their order of importance.

  • To me education is a leading out of what is already there in the pupil's soul. To Miss Mackay it is a putting in of something that is not there, and that is not what I call education, I call it intrusion ...

  • No longer can we afford to stuff the brains of the young with facts. The time is too short, the necessity for results too pressing. The new education must be based on the elimination of facts except as they illustrate principles. How to use facts, not how to accumulate them, is the purpose of true education.

    • Pearl S. Buck,
    • in Pearl S. Buck and Carlos P. Romulo, Friend to Friend ()
  • School is about two parts ABCs to fifty parts Where Do I Stand in the Great Pecking Order of Humankind.

  • If there's a single message passed down from each generation of American parents to their children, it is a two-word line: Better Yourself. And if there's a temple of self-betterment in each town, it is the local school. We have worshipped there for some time.

  • I regard the whole university system as a wretched sham. Knowledge! It has no more to do with knowledge than my boots.

  • But education has always been the Cinderella of politics; this nation apparently does not love to be taught!

  • Education! Is it education to teach the young that their chances of happiness depend on being richer than their neighbors? Yet that is what it all tends to. Get on! — be successful!

  • If women were once permitted to read Sophocles and work with logarithms, or to nibble at any side of the apple of knowledge, there would be an end forever to their sewing on buttons and embroidering slippers.

  • It was well known to all members of the campus population that other, unnamed groups reaped unimagined monetary advantages in comparison to the monetary disadvantages of one's own group, and that if funds were distributed fairly, according to real merit, for once, some people would have another think coming.

  • ... education is a private matter between the person and the world of knowledge and experience and has only a little to do with school or college ...

    • Lillian Smith,
    • "Bridges to Other People" (1959), in Redbook ()
  • ... standardization is the surest way to destroy the initiative, to benumb the creative impulse above all else essential to the vitality and growth of democratic ideals.

  • Classroom boredom leads to truancy, truancy to delinquency, delinquency to crime, and crime by the young is our country's horror and shame. We deplore. We pass laws. We scatter blame but never where it belongs, on ourselves, because we have not made our schools good enough. By paying teachers a pittance, we make the profession impossible for many of our brilliant, creative, dedicated young people who would wish to teach. Our highways for pleasure and commerce grow better each year while the schoolhouses where the nation's future is wrought grow shabbier and fatally overcrowded. It is a wicked shortsightedness. Until we make education attractive for teachers and pupils, we shall not solve our problems of crime and security and achieve a responsible, enlightened citizenry.

  • Thank goodness, my education was neglected and the originality was not rubbed off.

    • Beatrix Potter,
    • in Judy Taylor, Beatrix Potter 1866-1943: The Artist and Her World ()
  • Whatever moral good and general knowledge I may have got from it, I have retained no literal rules. I don't believe I can repeat a single line of any language ... I regret German very much, French I can read alone, history is still going on, the rules of geography and grammar are timesome, there is no general word to express the feelings I have always entertained towards arithmetic.

    • Beatrix Potter,
    • 1885, in Leslie Linder, transcriber, The Journal of Beatrix Potter: 1881-1897 ()
  • Education is all paint — it does not alter the nature of the wood that lies under it, it only improves its appearance a little. Why I dislike education so much is, that it makes all people alike, until you have examined into them; and it sometimes is so long before you get to see under the varnish!

    • Lady Hester Stanhope,
    • 1838, in Duchess of Cleveland, The Life and Letters of Lady Hester Stanhope ()
  • What I do feel the modern child lacks, when compared with the earlier generation, is concentration, and the sheer dogged grit to carry a long job through. ... Helping children to face up to a certain amount of drudgery, cheerfully and energetically, is one of the biggest problems that teachers, in these days of ubiquitous entertainment, have to face in our schools ...

  • The high-school English teacher will be fulfilling his responsibility if he furnishes the student a guided opportunity, through the best writing of the past, to come, in time, to an understanding of the best writing of the present. ... And if the student finds that this is not to his taste? Well, that is regrettable. Most regrettable. His taste should not be consulted; it is being formed.

    • Flannery O'Connor,
    • "Total Effect and the Eighth Grade," in Sally and Robert Fitzgerald, ed., Mystery and Manners ()
  • There was some sort of maze-learning experiment involved in my final grade and since I remember the rat who was my colleague as uncooperative, or perhaps merely incompetent at being a rat, or tired of the whole thing, I don't remember how I passed.

  • It is no easy matter to so design teaching in general that individual thinking is encouraged. ... there are so many things that must be learned by rote (multiplication tables, reading, spelling) that the atmosphere becomes overwhelmingly one of accepting what is in the book and giving it back unchanged. This carries over strongly to subjects of other sorts, where rote learning actually is not essential, and where it would often be a good idea if the children have an attitude of 'it ain't necessarily so' just because the teacher or the book said so. ... the multiplication tables, the forms of spelling, are all conventions, designed for great convenience in manipulating and conveying ideas, and they should be taught as such, not as basic truths, but I wonder if they ever are.

  • I learned three important things in college — to use a library, to memorize quickly and visually, to drop asleep at any time given a horizontal surface and fifteen minutes. What I could not learn was to think creatively on schedule.

  • I've chosen now for all my joy / My life in study to employ. / With peace and chosen solitude, / A studious world makes my life good.

    • Christine de Pisan,
    • 1403, in Charity Cannon Willard, Christine de Pizan: Her Life and Works ()
  • When I teach people I marry them.

  • Education, fundamentally, is the increase of the percentage of the conscious in relation to the unconscious. It must be a developing idea.

  • ... we already have so much pressure towards sameness through radio, film and comic outside the school, that we can't afford to do a thing inside that is not toward individual development ...

  • I see the mind of a five-year-old as a volcano with two vents; destructiveness and creativeness.

  • ... I suspect that with the dreaming ingredients of a mind worked off first, the laboring intellect would be clearer for practical application. Think of a room where we all came running in first thing in the morning to plunge into creativity! Ah ... tense orgasm! ... so that, detumesced, we could settle for numbers later. But you won't find that in my teaching scheme. The curriculum would be a wounded marine — it would die on the way to hospital. A teacher could be dismissed for such outlawry, sacked for sheer insanity. But oh, the children would love it, and the teacher be elevated. The children would love the teacher and the teacher would love the children.

  • Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer — into selflessness which links us with all humanity.

  • As soon as you start asking what education is for, what the use of it is, you're abandoning the basic assumption of any true culture, that education is worth while for its own sake.

  • All schoolchildren are hostages to red tape and fiscal insufficiency.

  • ... Harris had the egotistical dogmatism of the self-made man who had painfully educated himself without contact with superior brains.

    • Beatrice Webb,
    • 1898, in David A. Shannon, ed., Beatrice Webb's American Diary ()
  • It made me gladsome to be getting some education, it being like a big window opening.

  • An educated man should know everything about something, and something about everything.

  • ... he told me that it only seemed reasonable that if there were female studies programs there should be something for men. My answer was that we already had men's studies — it was called education.

  • Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction. They will educate themselves under right conditions.

  • It is a great mistake, I think, to put children off with falsehoods and nonsense, when their growing powers of observation and discrimination excite in them a desire to know about things.

  • The American high school is a surrealistic institution. High school and real life coexist, side by side, like the simultaneously existing worlds in a Superman comic book. But high school is like real life thrown slightly out of whack. Everything is just enough askew that it's about impossible to do them both. It's like trying to pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time. You can hardly do real life and high school.

  • If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections, and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasures in which no alloy can possibly mix, then that study is certainly unlawful, that is to say, not befitting the human mind.

  • ... I learned what education really is: the penetrating deeper and rising higher into life, as well as making continually wider explorations; the rounding of the whole human being out of its nebulous elements into form, as planets and suns are rounded, until they give out safe and steady light. This makes the process a infinite one, not possible to be completed at any school.

  • People like to think that nobody else can learn what they have learned. Now, that's just not true, but you can make it true by making it hard for people who don't know how to do a thing to learn how that thing is done.

  • I have always regarded the development of the individual as the only legitimate goal of education.

  • 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.

    • Anna Jameson,
    • "Education," Winter Studies and Summer Rambles ()
  • ... men maintain that the mind of women can learn only a little. ... if it were customary to send daughters to school like sons, and if they were then taught the natural sciences, they would learn as thoroughly and understand the subtleties of all the arts and sciences as well as sons.

    • Christine de Pisan,
    • 1405, in Earl Jeffrey Richards, trans., The Book of the City of Ladies ()
  • An almost seismic sense of expectation emanates from a college campus. That is the true elixir of youth: the grand, the glorious, the magnificent hopes and dreams because all things — all things — are yet possible.

  • ... in school, the child should have some pegs driven into the wall of memory upon which he may hang a line of objects more or less distinctly comprehended, but which the association of ideas will bring out years after.

  • The unwilling mind is not a teachable mind.

  • Both class and race survived education, and neither should. What is education then? If it doesn't help a human being to recognize that humanity is humanity, what is it for? So you can make a bigger salary than other people?

  • The advantage of an enlightened, nay, even a common education, was denied me, lest Knowledge should only serve to foster Poetry, and make 'a sentimental fool' of me. I was left like a wild colt on the fresh and boundless common of Nature, to pick up a mouthful of Truth where I could.

  • Better build schoolrooms for 'the boy,' / Than cells and gibbets for 'the man.'

    • Eliza Cook,
    • "A Song for the Ragged Schools," Eliza Cook's Journals, vols. 1-2 ()
  • There is too much repression and suppression in schools.

  • I am always sorry to hear that such and such a person is going to school to be educated. This is a great mistake. If the person is to get the benefit of what we call education, he must educate himself, under the direction of the teacher.

  • The American school system has, to some extent, simply 'happened.' ... It has not been carefully planned. It has not been based on a study, either of children on the one hand, or of society's needs on the other.

  • The only thing better than education is more education.

  • We are not asking our children to do their own best but to be the best. Education is in danger of becoming a religion based on fear; its doctrine is to compete. The majority of our children are being led to believe that they are doomed to failure in a world which has room only for those at the top.

  • ... we have not yet developed a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination.

  • My feeling about school was that it interfered with my reading.

  • The test of a student is not how much he knows, but how much he wants to know.

  • The test of a good teacher is not how many questions he can ask his pupils that they will answer readily, but how many questions he inspires them to ask him which he finds it hard to answer.

  • Although there are countless alumni of the school of hard knocks, there has not yet been a move to accredit that institution.

  • There is something out of gear about graded schools and all that. Memory is developed at the expense of what in general we are pleased to call thought and character.

  • Mistrust of godless higher education is a constant theme of the evangelicals. 'You can educate yourself right out of a relationship with God.'

  • At the heart of good education are those gifted, hardworking, and memorable teachers whose inspiration kindles fires that never quite go out, whose remembered encouragement is sometimes the only hard ground we stand upon, and whose very selves are the stuff of the best lessons they ever teach us. Most of us, no matter how long ago it's been, can name our kindergarten teacher. Our first music teacher. Our junior high algebra teacher. Good teachers never die.

    • Rosalie Maggio,
    • introduction, in Rosalie Maggio, ed., Quotations on Education ()
  • We can go for days, weeks, and even months without saying or thinking the word 'education.' And yet, day in and day out, we are educating others and being educated ourselves. In the narrower sense of education — those classrooms and buildings and campuses where teachers and taught are brought together for purposes stated and unstated, for outcomes intended and unintended — we have all been profoundly affected by the pattern of days essentially not of our own making.

    • Rosalie Maggio,
    • introduction, in Rosalie Maggio, ed., Quotations on Education ()
  • At last I came to college. I rushed for it with the outstretched arms of youth's aching hunger to give and take of life's deepest, and highest, and I came against the solid wall of the well-fed, well-dressed world — the frigid whitewashed wall of cleanliness. ... How I pinched, and scraped, and starved myself, to save enough to come to college! Every cent of the tuition fee I paid was drops of sweat and blood from underpaid laundry work. And what did I get for it? A crushed spirit, a broken heart, a stinging sense of poverty that I never felt before.

  • [After being shot in the head by the Taliban for speaking out for girls' education rights:] Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution.

    • Malala Yousafzai,
    • speech to the U.N. Youth Assembly, in The New York Times ()
  • The American child, driven to school by bus and stupefied by television, is losing contact with reality. There is an enormous gap between the sheer weight of the textbooks that he carries home from school and his capacity to interpret what is in them.

  • School was absurd, a collection of memorized facts, a denial of questions.

  • In the eyes of modern educators, individuality is a great sin, to be ruthlessly suppressed. The child is refused the right to reason for itself, and, if bold enough to do so, its thought processes are promptly crushed by the steam roller of the 'system.' The educators of our schools worship a holy trinity of their own, namely, average, authority, and standardized methods.

  • Sports were central to American students' lives and school cultures in a way in which they were not in most education superpowers. ... In most U.S. high schools, however, only a minority of students actually played sports. So they weren't getting the exercise, and the U.S. obesity rates reflected as much. And those valuable life lessons, the ones about leadership and persistence, could be taught through rigorous academic work, too, in ways that were more applicable to the real world. ... The lesson wasn't that sports couldn't coexist with education; it was that sports had nothing to do with education.

  • Boredom is the specter that haunts children from kindergarten to graduation on every continent.

  • It is the function of a liberal university not to give right answers, but to ask right questions.

  • The finest teaching touches in a student a spring neither teacher nor student could possibly have preconceived.

  • If you educate a man you educate a person, but if you educate a woman you educate a family.

  • Teach girls to read and to work at something where they can bring home money — and the entire balance of power shifts.

  • There's more learning than is taught in books.

    • Augusta Gregory,
    • "The Jester: A Play in Three Acts," Three Wonder Plays ()
  • I believe school life is in desperate need of a great deal more emphasis on emotional education, and it is a sign of our distorted social values that anyone should say the curriculum is too overloaded with academic work to allow for it. What does it profit a society to send its children to universities if they have nervous breakdowns when they get there, as more and more students are doing? What is the use of teaching children to think if their whole lives are going to be bedeviled by inability to get in touch with, understand, and cope with their emotions?

  • We have what I would call educational genocide. ... when I see more black students in the laboratories than I see on the football field, I'll be happy.

  • The content of the curriculum should never exclude the realities of the very students who must intellectually wrestle with it. When students study all worlds except their own, they are miseducated.

  • There are not many of us African American Sister Presidents, and those of us who are in this field do not have an easy time of it. Why the story goes that one Black woman college president died and went to hell, and it was two weeks before she realized that she wasn't still on the job.

  • Students do not need to be labeled or measured any more than they are. They don't need more Federal funds, grants, and gimmicks. What they need from us is common sense, dedication, and bright, energetic teachers who believe that all children are achievers and who take personally the failure of any one child.

    • Marva Collins,
    • in Marva Collins and Civia Tamarkin, Marva Collins' Way ()
  • Teaching children to read was one thing; keeping them interested in reading was something else.

    • Marva Collins,
    • in Marva Collins and Civia Tamarkin, Marva Collins' Way ()
  • Once children learn how to learn, nothing is going to narrow their mind. The essence of teaching is to make learning contagious, to have one idea spark another.

    • Marva Collins,
    • in Marva Collins and Civia Tamarkin, Marva Collins' Way ()
  • There is a lot of money to be made from miseducation, from the easy to read easy to learn textbooks, workbooks, teacher manuals, educational games and visual aids. The textbook business is more than a billion-dollar-a-year industry and some of its biggest profits come from 'audio-visual aids' — flash cards, tape cassettes, and filmstrips. No wonder the education industry encourages schools to focus on surface education.

    • Marva Collins,
    • in Marva Collins and Civia Tamarkin, Marva Collins' Way ()
  • [An educated person:] One who voluntarily does more thinking than is necessary for his own survival.

  • Physical and mental growth come best where the individual is not hampered by the pressure of other personalities. The trend today of the nursery school to socialize the child may in the future turn back a hundred years to giving the young organism an untrammeled place to develop without outside pressure.

  • In the pursuit of an educational program to suit the bright and the not so bright, we have watered down a rigid training for the elite until we now have an educational diet in many of our public high schools that nourishes neither the classes nor the masses.

  • The first rule of education is that if somebody will fund it, somebody will do it. The second rule of education is that once something is funded, workbooks will follow.

  • Teacher education courses promulgate two great myths. One myth is that all children expect or need to be treated the same. The second myth is that there are certainties in the schoolhouse. Benjamin Franklin said nothing is certain but death and taxes. In the schoolhouse, nothing is certain and no one is equal.

  • The supply of administrators does seem to exceed the demand. Remember: some administrators are wise. The rest are otherwise. Ninety percent of administrators give the other ten percent a bad name.

  • While the wheels of all bureaucracies turn slowly, in school bureaucracies many of those wheels have flat tires.

  • School, after all, is now — and should remain — the place where, when you come, they have to teach you.

  • ... as every teacher knows, it is easier to move a graveyard than to change a district's existing curriculum.

  • We could revolutionize education if we asked every person connected with the education of children, 'Read any good books lately?'

  • A workbook should be carefully structured, analyzed for appropriate reading level, matched to every student's individual learning styles, and then thrown out the window.

  • ... school is the marketplace of possibility, not efficiency.

  • With large industries throwing out the factory model as counterproductive, it is long past time for schools to do the same. I wonder how many adults would do well at dealing with different job requirements and a different boss every 47 minutes.

  • Education with a heart is a blessing.

    • Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz,
    • "How Did 'Correct' Become a Dirty Word? Theory and Practice for a Social Justice," Transformations ()
  • We live at the level of our language. Whatever we can articulate we can imagine or understand or explore. All you have to do to educate a child is leave him alone and teach him to read. The rest is brainwashing.

  • As far as the education of children is concerned I think they should be taught not the little virtues but the great ones. Not thrift but generosity and an indifference to money; not caution but courage and a contempt for danger; not shrewdness but frankness and a love of truth; not tact but love for one's neighbor and self-denial; not a desire for success but a desire to be and to know.

  • Poetry is the most mistaught subject in any school because we teach poetry by form and not by content.

    • Nikki Giovanni,
    • in Claudia Tate, ed., Black Women Writers at Work ()
  • ... those who have been required to memorize the world as it is will never create the world as it might be.

  • The educational system is regarded simultaneously as the nation's scapegoat and savior.

  • In our mechanized society where thoughts as well as automobiles may be assembled in an automated factory, it is also, by some narrow logic, expedient to reduce children to those yes-no codes most easily processed by such a system. ... When life becomes one giant data-processing system, the winners are those with the greatest aptitude for being data.

  • It is always easier, however, to manipulate the child to fit the theory than to adjust the theory to suit the child — provided, of course, one is very careful not to look at the child.

  • Very few can be trusted with an education.

  • It has always seemed to me that boys and girls are educated very differently. Even from the early grades, they take different subjects. For instance, boys are usually put into woodworking classes, and girls into sewing and cooking — willy-nilly. I know many boys who should, I am sure, be making pies and girls who are much better fitted for manual training than domestic science. Too often little attention is paid to individual talent. Instead, education goes on dividing people according to their sex, and putting them in little feminine or masculine pigeonholes.

  • No one worries about kids going out for football and competing to be on the team — that's ability grouping, and so is the band and cheerleading squad. But when we do these things in academics, it becomes 'undemocratic, un-American.'

  • As the youngsters grow attached to their teachers and classmates ... they can finally say good-bye to their mothers without re-enacting the death scene from Camille.

  • We always hate the school room where we learn hard lessons. But then we love it, because that's the school that taught us all we know, and gave us all the strength we have.

  • The little dog-eared books in the meeting-house proved poor reading ... So many of them were about unnaturally good children who never did wrong, and unnaturally bad children who never did right. At the end there was always the word MORAL, in big capital letters, as if the readers were supposed to be too blind to find it for themselves, and it had to be put directly across the path for them to stumble over.

  • Education [is] is the only industry in America which continues in business despite the fact that it is producing a million products unfit for consumption.

  • As educators, we live in a fool's paradise, or worse in a knave's, if we are unaware that when we are teaching something to anyone we are also teaching everything to that same anyone.

  • The great difficulty in education is that we give rules instead of inspiring sentiments. ... it is not possible to make rules enough to apply to all manner of cases; and if it were possible, a child would soon forget them. But if you inspire him with right feelings, they will govern his actions.

  • The best I could say about third grade was that it was a more or less continuous state of dread.

  • ... as I inched sluggishly along the treadmill of the Maycomb County school system, I could not help receiving the impression that I was being cheated out of something. Out of what I knew not, yet I did not believe that twelve years of unrelieved boredom was exactly what the state had in mind for me.

  • The most perfect education ... is such an exercise of the understanding as is best calculated to strengthen the body and form the heart. Or, in other words, to enable the individual to attain such habits of virtue as will render it independent.

  • Education is considered the peculiar business of women; perhaps for that very reason it is one of the worst-paid businesses in the world ...

  • Education has become a prisoner of contemporaneity.

  • ... our major universities are now stuck with an army of pedestrian, toadying careerists, Fifties types who wave around Sixties banners to conceal their record of ruthless, beaverlike tunneling to the top.

  • [On U.S. universities:] The bland leading the bland.

  • There can be no education without leisure; and without leisure, education is worthless.

    • Sarah Josepha Hale,
    • in Ruth Ebright Finley, The Lady of Godey's, Sarah Josepha Hale ()
  • Education must have an end in view, for it is not an end in itself.

  • I discovered that education imposed from without is no good; to be really effective, it must come within.

  • The greatest danger of traditional education is that learning may remain purely verbal.

  • The students are used to being entertained. They are used to the idea that if they are just the slightest bit bored, they can flip the switch and turn the channel.

  • So far, we do not seem appalled at the prospect of exactly the same kind of education being applied to all the school children from the Atlantic to the Pacific, but there is an uneasiness in the air, a realization that the individual is growing less easy to find; an idea, perhaps, of what standardization might become when the units are not machines, but human beings.

    • Edith Hamilton,
    • in Richard Thruelsen and John Kobler, eds., Adventures of the Mind, 1st series ()
  • When I read educational articles it often seems to me that this important side of the matter, the purely personal side, is not emphasized enough; the fact that it is so much more agreeable and interesting to be an educated person than not. The sheer pleasure of being educated does not seem to be stressed.

    • Edith Hamilton,
    • in Richard Thruelsen and John Kobler, eds., Adventures of the Mind, 1st series ()
  • Before I myself went to college I had never seen but one college woman. I had heard that such a woman was staying at the house of an acquaintance. I went to see her with fear. Even if she had appeared in hoofs and horns I was determined to go to college all the same. But it was a relief to find this Vassar graduate tall and handsome and dressed like other women.

    • M. Carey Thomas,
    • in Barbara M. Cross, ed., The Educated Woman in America ()
  • When I was young, I was put in a school for retarded kids for two years before they realized I actually had a hearing loss ... and they called me slow!

    • Kathy Buckley,
    • with Lynette Padwa, If You Could Hear What I See ()
  • The trouble with most textbooks is that they take the sport out of learning. Their authors have had all the excitement of the chase ... and leave for the student only the dead quarry.

  • Decision-making is a basic part of education for life in a democracy. It calls for practice.

  • ... cultivate in young minds an equal love of the good, the beautiful and the absurd; most people's lives are too lead-colored to lose the smallest twinkle of light from a flash of nonsense.

    • Fanny Kemble,
    • in Margaret Armstrong, Fanny Kemble: A Passionate Victorian ()
  • If all the rich and all of the church people should send their children to the public schools they would feel bound to concentrate their money on improving these schools until they met the highest ideals.

    • Susan B. Anthony,
    • in Lynn Sherr, ed., Failure Is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Own Words ()

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  • If we are going to teach 'creation science' as an alternative to evolution, then we should also teach the stork theory as an alternative to biological reproduction.

  • Culture and education are the lethal weapons against all kinds of fundamentalism.

  • 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.

  • A good education is another name for happiness.

  • Study as if you were going to live forever; live as if you were going to die tomorrow.

  • Education and justice are democracy's only life insurance.

  • Expecting all children the same age to learn from the same materials is like expecting all children the same age to wear the same size clothing.

    • Madeline Hunter,
    • in Neil Daniel et al., Flexible Pacing for Able Learners ()
  • The purpose of the teacher is to 'draw out,' not 'cram in.'

  • The carefully fostered theory that schoolwork can be made easy and enjoyable breaks down as soon as anything, however trivial, has to be learned.

  • Educate a woman and you educate a family.

    • Anonymous,
    • slogan used by La Liga Femenil Mexicanista ()
  • In this disturbing era of testing and data collection in the public schools, I have seen my career transformed into a job that no longer fits my understanding of how children learn and what a teacher ought to do in the classroom to build a healthy, safe, developmentally appropriate environment for learning for each of our children.

  • Society cannot afford to neglect the enlightenment of any class of its members.

  • Schools have a kind of power over their students that most American adults will never experience until they enter a hospital, or old age home, an institution, or a prison.

  • Fortunately, education does not depend on educational institutions any more than religion depends on churches.

  • [On graduations:] They are individual and communal, an end and a beginning, more permanent than weddings, more inclusive than religions, and possibly the most moving ceremonies on earth.

  • I’d wager that only 10 percent of the English instruction list will answer your call for nominations. Why? First, because more than a third of our faculty now consists of temporary (adjunct) instructors who creep into the building under cover of darkness to teach their graveyard shifts of freshman comp; they are not eligible to vote or to serve. Second, because the remaining two-thirds of the faculty, bearing the scars of disenfranchisement and long-term abuse, are busy tending to personal grudges like scraps of carrion on which they gnaw in the gloom of their offices.

  • ... education is not just about the passive assimilation of facts and cultural traditions, but about challenging the mind to become active, competent, and thoughtfully critical in a complex world. This model of education supplanted an older one in which children sat still at desks all day and simply absorbed, and then regurgitated, the material that was brought their way.