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learning in which knowledge and skills is transferred through teaching
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 ... 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 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. ~ Louis Althusser
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
Education is one of the blessings of life — and one of its necessities. ~ Malala Yousafzai
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
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
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. ~ John Adams

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.

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  • 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 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.
    • John Adams, in a letter to Abigail Adams (29 October 1775), published Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife, Vol. 1 (1841), ed. Charles Francis Adams, p. 72.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?


  • 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 [scholastic].
    • Francis Bacon, "Of Studies," in The Essayes or Counsels, Civil and Moral, of Francis Lord Verulam, Viscount St. Alban (1625) as quoted in Bacon's Essays (1892) p. 128
  • 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. Original 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • That there should one Man die ignorant who had capacity for Knowledge, this I call a tragedy.
  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Education is an ornament for the prosperous, a refuge for the unfortunate.
    • Democritus (ca. 4th century BC). Tr. Kathleen Freeman, Ancilla to the Pre-Socratic Philosophers: A Complete Translation of the Fragments in Diels, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, 1948.
  • 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.
    • Freeman Dyson, “Butterflies and Superstrings” in Timothy Ferris (ed.) The World Treasury of Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics (p. 135)


  • 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)
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • Vi har väldigt mycket att tjäna på att sluta ömma för dem som ändå kommer att få ett gott liv.
    • Translation: We have very much to earn by ceasing to tender those who are going to have a good life anyway.
    • Swedish socialist debater Göran Greider about giving special education to gifted pupils, in the television program Godmorgon världen from the episode aired 17 February 2002.


  • 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 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 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.
  • 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).


  • 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.
    • Benjamin Jowett, "Introduction and Analyisis," (1892) p. cc, The Dialogues of Plato: Republic. Timaeus. Critias. Vol. 3 The Republic


  • Man must develop his tendency towards the good.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain.
    • John F. Kennedy, speech on 18th May 1963 on the 90th Anniversary Convocation of Vanderbilt University [1]


  • 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.


  • 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
  • I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.
  • 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.
  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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
  • 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.
  • Men must be taught as if you taught them not
    And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
  • This education forms the common mind, Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined.
  • 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.
  • The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.


  • 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
  • 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
  • There is only one thing that can kill the movies, and that is education.
  • We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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.
  • [C]hildren 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. 113ff
  • 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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?


  • Teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.
  • 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.


  • I personally believe that U. S. Americans are unable to [locate the U. S. on a world map] because, uh, some people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our education, like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should—our education over here in the U. S. should help the U. S., uh, or, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future, for our children.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Education is not a function of any church — or even of a city — or a state; it is a function of all mankind.


  • 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.

Raising childrenEdit

  • Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
  • The parents who are unwilling to permit their children to undergo a course of training under strict discipline, are the ones who deserve the reproof. In the first place, everything they possess, including the children, is devoted to ambition.
  • Exercises in being obedient can not begin too early, and I have, during an almost daily observation of six years, discovered no harm from an early, consistent guiding of the germinating will, provided only this guiding be done with the greatest mildness and justice, as if the infant had already an insight into the benefits of obedience.
  • The old superstition that children have innate faculties of such a finished sort that they flash up and grasp the principle of things by a rapid sort of first "intellection," an error that made all departments of education so trivial, assumptive and dogmatic for centuries before Comenius, Basedow and Pestalozzi, has been banished everywhere save from moral and religious training, where it still persists in full force. (...) But parents are prone to forget that healthful and correct sentiments concerning matters of conduct are, at first, very feeble,and that the sense of obligation needs the long and careful guardianship of external authority.
  • Thus Vikramâditja was brought up in a strange land, but was exercised in all kinds of arts; and increased in strength, well-favoured in mind and body. He learned wisdom of the wise, and the use of arms from men of valour; from the soothsayer learned he cunning arts, and trading from sagacious traders; from robber bands learned he the art of robbery, and from fraudulent dealers to lie.

Philosophy of educationEdit

  • 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.
  • The real nature of education is at variance with the account given of it by certain of its professors.
    • Socrates, from Plato's The Republic.
  • "Good teaching comes from good people."
    • Parker Palmer, The Courage to Teach.
  • Man must develop his tendency towards the good.
    • Immanuel Kant, Thoughts on Education, #12.
  • In the world of knowledge, the idea of good appears last of all, and is seen only with effort.
    • Plato, "The Allegory of the Cave".
  • The most important thing is that the natural will of the child be broken.
  • If the end of education is to foster the love of truth, this love cannot be presupposed in the means.
    • Arthur Melzer, “On the Pedagogical Motive for Esoteric Writing,” Journal of Politics, Vol. 69, Issue 4, November 2007, p. 1018
  • A close watch must be kept on the children, and they must never be left alone anywhere, whether they are in ill or good health. This constant supervision should be exercised gently and with a certain trustfulness calculated to make them think that one loves them, and that it is only to enjoy their company that one is with them. This will make them love their supervision rather than fear it.
    • Advice to Jesuit school ushers at Port Royal 1615; as quoted in Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism in the Marston/Peter comics, 1941-1948 pp. 99-100
  • O brave youth, how good for thee it were couldst thou be made to understand how infinitely precious are thy school years—years when thou hast leisure to grow, when new worlds break in upon thee, and thou fashionest thy being in the light of the ideals of truth and goodness and beauty! If now thou dost not fit thyself to become free and whole, thou shalt, when the doors of this fair mother-house of the mind, close behind thee, be driven into ways that lead to bondage, be compelled to do that which cripples and dwarfs; for the work whereby men gain a livelihood involves mental and moral mutilation, unless it be done in the spirit of religion and culture. Ah! well for thee, canst thou learn while yet there is time that it will profit thee nothing to become the possessor of millions, if the price thou payest is thy manhood.
  • The development of the faculty of attention forms the real object and almost the sole interest of studies.
  • Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.
  • School children and students who love God should never say: “For my part I like mathematics”; “I like French”; “I like Greek.” They should learn to like all these subjects, because all of them develop that faculty of attention which, directed toward God, is the very substance of prayer.

History of educationEdit

  • It must also be remembered that one of the three branches of Primary Education in Hellas would be called play in England: an afternoon spent in running races, jumping, wrestling, or riding would not be regarded as work by an English schoolboy. Music, too, is usually learned during play-hours in an English school. Even Letters, when the elementary stage was past, meant reciting, reading, or learning by heart the literature of the boy's own language, and most of it not stiff literature by any means, but such fascinating fairy-tales as are found in Homer. There is little trace of Hellenic boys creeping unwillingly to school: their lessons were made eminently attractive.
  • (...) but the story that Rome created and maintained an extensive system of state-controlled and -supported schools is mainly hyperbole. (...) Official policy had the effect of encouraging the opening of schools, but throughout the greater part of Rome's history, neither compulsory education nor a state school system was enforced or erected.
    • Edward J. Power, A Legacy of Learning: A History of Western Education (1991), p. 92.


  • 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 (2009), The Floating Press, page 582
  • The Devil: Okay, boys...tonight's homework. Algebra. Xn + Yn = Zn. You're never gonna use that, are you? Imperialism and the First World War. What was done is done. No point thinking about it now. German, French, Spanish. Ja, ja, oui, oui, s, s. It's nonsense. Everyone speaks English anyway. And if they don't, they ought to. So, no homework tonight. But I want you to watch a lot of TV, don't neglect your video games...and I'll see you in the morning. Shall we say 10:00, 10:30? No point in getting up too early.
  • Education is unique among consumer products; when it comes time to work as advertised, it’s the customer that gets labeled as defective.
    • Kevin Killion, as quoted in Betrayed: How the Education Establishment Has Betrayed America, Laurie H. Rogers, Rowan & Littlefield Publishers (2010) p. 230
  • A child born today in the United Kingdom stands a ten times greater chance of being admitted to a mental hospital than to a university … This can be taken as an indication that we are driving our children mad more effectively than we are genuinely educating them. Perhaps it is our way of educating them that is driving them mad.
  • Stan: What purpose does school have? The Bible says the only goal in this life is to praise God and get into heaven.
  • [...] If you teach a man anything he will never learn it. [...]

Against the educational systemEdit

  • 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
  • It's the teachers who have to do the job in kindergarten and first grade. Once you teach them to read and write, then the students will be curious. But the education system has failed, and all the money that Washington sends out in the next two years has got to go to local schools, first grade, and kindergarten. Then we can cure the problem.
The teachers stopped teaching. They're lazy, and they don't want to be graded. And yet we're all graded constantly.
  • Ray Bradbury [5]
  • Ray Bradbury [6]
  • Children are naturally expressive but they go to school and get it taught out of them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Continued adherence to a policy of compulsory education is utterly incompatible with efforts to establish lasting peace.
  • Show me the man who has enjoyed his schooldays and I will show you a bully and a bore.
  • Don't tell us that the only way to teach a child is to spend too much of a year preparing him to fill out a few bubbles on a standardized test; we know that's not true.
  • As far as I can see, this is a system that has enriched multiple companies and that pays and fires teachers with a cattle birthing formula, confuses children with talking pineapples, and has the same kind of rules regarding transparency as Brad Pitt had for Fight Club.
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. ~ Petrarch
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Thirty years ago it seemed right that there be no stigma in education and that everyone should get the same start in life, but there are problems in mixing everyone together. I was never happy about the inclusion of children with severe autistic problems in schools, for example, and I certainly don't think it is working today.
  • 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.
  • The oppressor has always indoctrinated the weak with his interpretation of the crimes of the strong.
  • "At school boys become gluttons and slovens, and, instead of cultivating domestic affections, very early rush into libertinism which destroys the constitution before it is formed; hardening the heart as it weakens the understanding."
    • Mary Wollstonecraft, "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects" (1792).
  • There is not, perhaps, in the kingdom, a more dogmatical, or luxurious set of men, than the pedantic tyrants who reside in colleges and preside at public schools.
    • Mary Wollstonecraft, "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects" (1792). (In British English "public school" means what Americans call "private school": nongovernmental institutions that are open to the public for a price.).

Against state educationEdit

  • A government system of education in Prussia is not inconsistent with the theory of Prussian society, for there all wisdom is supposed to be lodged in the government. But the thing is wholly inadmissible here . . . because, according to our theory, the people are supposed to be wiser than the government. Here, the people do not look to the government for light, for instruction, but the government looks to the people. The people give the law to the government. To entrust, then, the government with the power of determining the education which our children shall receive is entrusting our servant with the power to be our master. This fundamental difference between the two countries, we apprehend, has been overlooked by the board of education and its supporters.
    • Orestes Brownson, Testimony against proposed Truancy Laws before the Massachusetts Board of Education, 19th Century
  • Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds.
  • There is, in fact, only one solution: the state, the government, the laws must not in any way concern themselves with schooling or education. Public funds must not be used for such purposes. The rearing and instruction of youth must be left entirely to parents and to private associations and institutions.
  • I would promise the whole amount were I not afraid that someday my gift might be abused for someone's selfish purposes, as I see happen in many places where teachers' salaries are paid from public funds. There is only one remedy to meet this evil: if the appointment of teachers is left entirely to the parents, and they are conscientious about making a wise choice through their obligation to contribute to the cost.
    • Pliny the Younger, Letters and Panegyricus, Book IV, XIII; London, 1969, William Heinemann, p. 277-283; writing to his friend Tacitus almost two thousand years ago, describing his plan to establish a secondary school in his home town, but adding that he had decided to pay only one third of the total cost.
  • 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 publish by Yale University Press, 1957
  • The school that flies the flag is, in the long run accountable to that flag and to the power and values which is represents.
    • Jonathan Kozol, as quoted by Robin Small, in "Marx and education".
  • 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. An education established and controlled by the State should only exist, if it exists at all, as one among many competing
    • John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859), in The English Philosophers from Bacon to Mill, ed. Edwin A. Burtt (New York: Random House, 1939), pp. 1033–34.
  • Government schooling is the most radical adventure in history. It kills the family by monopolizing the best times of childhood and by teaching disrespect for home and parents... The whole blueprint of school procedure is Egyptian, not Greek or Roman. It grows from the theological idea that human value is a scarce thing, represented symbolically by the narrow peak of a pyramid.
  • Is it not ironical that in a planned society of controlled workers given compulsory assignments, where religious expression is suppressed, the press controlled, and all media of communication censored, where a puppet government is encouraged but denied any real authority, where great attention is given to efficiency and character reports, and attendance at cultural assemblies is compulsory, where it is avowed that all will be administered to each according to his needs and performance required from each according to his abilities, and where those who flee are tracked down, returned and punished for trying to escape - in short, in the milieu of the typical large American secondary school - we attempt to teach 'the democratic system'?
    • Royce Van Norman, "School Administration: Thoughts on Organization and Purpose," Phi Delta Kappan 47 (1966):315-16.
  • ...this has become the most notable feature of the recent history of European 'education': the enterprise of substituting 'socialization' for education. … The design here is to reduce or abolish disparities in opportunity and thus to generate a 'fully integrated' society. Here, however, the design and its imposition upon the educational engagement are inseperable: the design itself requires that all schools shall be the same and that none shall be 'School'.
  • A tax-supported, compulsory educational system is the complete model of the totalitarian state.

For educationEdit

For state educationEdit

  • Of all our institutions public education is the most important. Everything depends on it, the present and the future. It is essential that the morals and political ideas of the generation which is now growing up should no longer be dependent upon the news of the day or the circumstances of the moment. Above all we must secure unity: we must be able to cast a whole generation in the same mould.
    • Napoleon Bonaparte, in an 1807 meeting of the Council of State. Quoted in "The Life and Memoirs of Count Molé", written by Mathieu Louis Molé, edited by the Marquis de Noailles. 2v London, 1923, 61.
  • "Therefore I praise New England because it is the country in the world where is the freest expenditure for education. ..., namely, that the poor man, whom the law does not allow to take an ear of corn when starving, nor a pair of shoes for his freezing feet, is allowed to put his hand into the pocket of the rich, and say, You shall educate me, not as you will, but as I will: not alone in the elements, but, by further provision, in the languages, in sciences, in the useful and in elegant arts. The child shall be taken up by the State, and taught, at the public cost, the rudiments of knowledge, and, at last, the ripest results of art and science.
  • (...) success itself will decide whether the end of education, the [child's] usefullness [for the end of reason], has been attained. This is a manner of which the state is an extremely competent judge. Thus, if the state grants some office to the son, it thereby judges that his education is completed. Moreover, the judgement of the state binds the parents juridically; they ought to subordinate themselves to it for the sake of duty.
    • Johann Gottlieb Fichte - The System of Ethics: According to the Principles of the Wissenschaftslehre, 2005, Cambridge, p. 323.
  • When an opponent declares, "I will not come over to your side," I calmly say, "Your child belongs to us already...What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community."
    • Adolf Hitler, on Public Education, speech in November 6, 1933, William L. Shirer, The Rise of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany, Simon & Schuster, 2011, p. 249.

  • There is a doctrine that is fundamental in American education. That is: every child born or adopted by this republic has by virtue of that fact the right to have developed whatever of talent he may possess, without reference to the quality, quantity, or type of that talent, under conditions favorable to such development, and that he shall have assured to him the oppurtunity to go as far as his ability and ambition will permit in order that he may live his life more abundantly than he otherwise could.
    • Claude L. Kulp, Ithaca High School Dedication Address, September 1960 (reprinted in The Ithaca Journal, September 26, 1960).
  • Dear rulers … I maintain that the civil authorities are under obligation to compel the people to send their children to school. … If the government can compel such citizens as are fit for military service to bear spear and rifle, to mount ramparts, and perform other martial duties in time of war, how much more has it a right to compel the people to send their children to school, because in this case we are warring with the devil, whose object it is secretly to exhaust our cities and principalities of their strong men.
    • Martin Luther, 1524, letter to the German rulers
    • quoted in The History of Compulsory Education in New England, John William Perrin, 1896.
  • In particular, at this point also urge governing authorities and parents to rule well and to send their children to school. Point out how they are obliged to do so and what a damnable sin they commit if they do not, for thereby, as the worst enemies of God and humanity, they overthrow and lay waste both the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the world. Explain very clearly what kind of horrible damage they do when they do not help to train children as pastors, preachers, civil servants, etc., and tell them that God will punish them dreadfully for this. For in our day and age it is necessary to preach about these things. The extent to which parents and governing authorities are now sinning in these matters defies description. The devil, too, intends to do something horrible in all this.
    • Martin Luther, foreword to 'the small catechismus'
    • Preface.19-20, The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Robert Kolb and Timothy J. Wengert, eds., Fortress Press: Minneapolis, 2000.
  • ...whoever has a right to hang has a right to educate.
  • Lycurgus," says Plutarch, "resolved the whole business of legislation into the bringing up of youth." When our legislators shall have learnt wisdom from the Spartan, they will acquire, as he acquired, the power of remoulding the national character.
    • Robert Owen, Tracts on Republican Government and National Education (1840), p. 14.
  • There shall be compulsory education, as the saying is, of all and sundry, as far this is possible; and the pupils shall be regarded as belonging to the state rather than to their parents.
  • I think this (...) will demand, as a minimum condition, the establishment of a world State and the subsequent institution of a world-wide system of education designed to produce loyalty to the world State. No doubt such a system of education will entail, at any rate for a century or two, certain crudities which will militate agains the development of the individual. But if the alternative is chaos and the death of civilisation, the price will be worth paying.
  • Education, Public – "The single most important element in the maintenance of a democratic system"… "The better the citizenry as a whole are educated, the wider and more sensible public participation, debate and social mobility will be. Any serious rivalry from private education systems will siphon off Élites and thus fatally weaken both the drive and the financing of the state system. That a private system may be able to offer to a limited number of students the finest education in the world is irrelevant. Highly sophisticated Élites are the easiest and least original thing a society can produce. The most difficult and the most valuable is a well-educated populace."
    • John Ralston Saul, Doubter's Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense, Penguin, 1995.
  • Education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don't need little changes, we need gigantic revolutionary changes. Schools should be palaces. Competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be getting six-figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge for its citizens, just like national defense. That is my position. I just haven't figured out how to do it yet.

Quality of educationEdit

  • The spread of secondary and latterly tertiary education has created a large population of people, often with well-developed literary and scholarly tastes, who have been educated far beyond their capacity to undertake analytical thought.
    • Peter Medawar, "Review of Teilhard de Chardin’s The Phenomenon of Man". In: Mind Vol.70 (1961)

The spread of secondary and latterly tertiary education has created a large population of people, often with well-developed literary and scholarly tastes, who have been educated far beyond their capacity to undertake analytical thought.

  • To sum up the matter simply, in the language of educationists, one might say the responsibility of the schools of education for the present chaotic disorganization in the curricula of primary and secondary educational institutions is due to their hypertrophical complication of pedagogic education through the duplication of instructional materials under various divergent indefinite polysyllabic terminologies.
    • Portwell, B. G. (May 1940). "Mumbo Jumbo in Education". The American Mercury L (197): 429-432. Retrieved on 2011-06-28.
  • We are getting exactly what the school system was designed to produce - a uniformly dumbed down product of compliant, lackluster people who have had their individuality crushed out of them by a system that rewards mediocrity.
  • My school was a happy place. All of us who started our schooling there completed our studies till the eighth standard. I don't remember even a single person dropping out. These days, when i visit schools, both big and small, all across the country, i tell them that true quality does not come from a great building or great facilities or great advertisements. It happens when education is imparted with love by great teachers.
    • APJ Abdul Kalam, My Journey: Transforming Dreams into Actions, Rupa Publications, 2014.

Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989)Edit

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 QuotationsEdit

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."
  • Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; morals, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.
  • Education commences at the mother's knee, and every word spoken within the hearsay of little children tends towards the formation of character.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • To be in the weakest camp is to be in the strongest school.
  • 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.
  • The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.
  • The Self-Educated are marked by stubborn peculiarities.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • He can write and read and cast accompt.
    O monstrous!
    We took him setting of boys' copies.
    Here's a villain!
  • 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.
  • Oh how our neighbour lifts his nose,
    To tell what every schoolboy knows.
  • 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.
  • Still sits the school-house by the road,
    A ragged beggar sunning;
    Around it still the sumachs grow
    And blackberry vines are running.
  • Slavery is but half abolished, emancipation is but half completed, while millions of freemen with votes in their hands are left without education.

See alsoEdit

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