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365 Reflections On Education


A quote for each day (with an extra one for leap years)


Education should be gentle and stern, not cold and lax. ~ Joseph Joubert

The schools ain’t what they used to be and never was. ~ Will Rogers

Educate a man and you educate an individual — educate a woman and you educate a family. ~ A.Cripps

The university is the last remaining platform for national dissent. ~ Leon Eisenberg

There is that indescribable freshness and unconsciousness about an illiterate person that humbles and mocks the power of the noblest expressive genius. ~ Walt Whitman

Intelligence appears to be the thing that enables a man to get along without education. Education appears to be the thing that enables a man to get along without the use of his intelligence. ~ A. E. Wiggan

A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest in students. ~ J. Ciardi

“Whom are you?” he asked, for he had been to night school. ~ George Ade

Education with inert ideas is not only useless, it is above all things harmful. ~ A N Whitehead

Schoolmasters and parents exist to be grown out of. ~ John Wolfenden

A child educated only at school is an uneducated child. ~ George Santayana

No one can become really educated without having pursued some study in which he took no interest. For it is part of education to interest ourselves in subjects for which we have no aptitude. ~ T S Eliot

Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance that accumulates in the form of inert facts. ~ Henry Adams

You can lead a man up to the university, but you can’t make him think. ~ Finley Peter Dunne

The real struggle is not between East and West, or capitalism and communism, but between education and propaganda. ~ Martin Buber

The well-meaning people who talk about education as if it were a substance distributable by coupon in large or small quantities never exhibit any understanding of the truth that you cannot teach anybody anything that he does not want to learn ~ George Sampson

Indeed one of the ultimate advantages of an education is simply coming to the end of it. ~ B. F. Skinner

Education is the process of casting false pearls before real swine. ~ Irwin Edman

Education is a state-controlled manufactory of echoes.~ Norman Douglas

Education must have an end in view, for it is not an end in itself. ~ Sybi1 Marshall

Our principal writers have nearly all been fortunate in escaping regular education. ~ H. MacDiarmid

I am not impressed by the Ivy League establishments. Of course they graduate the best — it’s all they’ll take, leaving to others the problem of educating the country. They will give you an education the way the banks will give you money — provided you can prove to their satisfaction that you don’t need it. ~ Peter De Vries

I had a good education but it never went to my head, somehow. It should be a journey ending up with you at a different place. It didn’t take with me. My degree was a kind of inoculation. I got just enough education to make me immune from it for the rest of my life. ~ Alan Bennett

There is much to be said for apathy in education. ~ E M Forster

The one real object of education is to leave a man in the condition of continually asking questions. ~ Bishop Creighton

Certainly the prolonged education indispensable to the progress of society is not natural to mankind. ~ Winston Churchill

If a teacher is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind. ~ Kahlil Gibran

That is the difference between good teachers and great teachers: good teachers make the best of a pupil’s means; great teachers foresee a pupil’s ends. ~ Maria Callas

Class discussion: letting twenty young blockheads and two cocky neurotics discuss something that neither their teacher nor they know. ~ Vladimir Nabokov

A teacher should have maximal authority and minimal power. ~ Thomas Szasz

For every person wishing to teach there are thirty not wanting to be taught. ~ Sellar & Yeatman


Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon. ~ E. M. Forster

The founding fathers in their wisdom decided that children were an unnatural strain on parents. So they provided jails called schools, equipped with tortures called education. School is where you go between when your parents can’t take you and industry can’t take you. ~ John Updike

Twenty years of schoolin’/And they put you on the day shift. ~ Bob Dylan

I expect you’ll be becoming a schoolmaster, sir. That’s what most of the gentlemen does, sir, that gets sent down for indecent behaviour. ~ Evelyn Waugh

If you promise not to believe everything your child says happens at this school, I’ll promise not to believe everything he says happens at home. ~ Anon

I see the mind of a five-year-old as a volcano with two vents: destructiveness and creativeness. ~ Sylvia Ashton-Warner

There must be such a thing as a child with average ability, but you can’t find a parent who will admit that it is his child. ~ Thomas Bailey, Florida State Superintendent of Schools

Start a program for gifted children and every parent demands that his child be enrolled. ~ T Bailey

Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition. ~ Jacques Barzun

At best, most college presidents are running something that is somewhere between a faltering corporation and a hotel. ~ Leon Botstein

I never reprimand a boy in the evening – darkness and a troubled mind are a poor combination. ~ Frank L. Boyden, Headmaster, Deerfield Academy

Even while they teach, men learn. ~ Seneca

I was still learning when I taught my last class. ~ Claude Fuess, after 40 years of teaching

The ability to think straight, some knowledge of the past, some vision of the future, some skill to do useful service, some urge to fit that service into the well-being of the community – these are the most vital things education must try to produce. ~ Virginia Gildersleeve

Do not appear so scholarly, I pray you. Humanize your talk, and speak to be understood. Do you think a Greek name gives more weight to your reasons? ~ Moliere

What makes the desert so beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

What a teacher doesn’t say is a telling part of what a student hears. ~ Maurice Natanson

We’re drowning in information and starving for knowledge. ~ Rutherford Rogers

If you think education is expensive – try ignorance. ~ Derek Bok

Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned, and however early a man’s training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly. ~ Thomas Huxley

To make your children capable of honesty is the beginning of education. ~ John Ruskin

Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training. ~ Anna Freud

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

Education is what survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten. ~ B F Skinner

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

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

It would be a great advantage to some teachers if they would steal two hours a day from their pupils, and give their own minds the benefit of the robbery. ~ J. F. Boyse

Thoroughly to teach another is the best way to learn for yourself. ~ Tryon Edwards

If the student fails to learn, the teacher fails to teach. ~ Anon


He who can does. He who can’t, teaches. ~ George Bernard Shaw

He who can does. He who can’t, teaches. He who can’t teach, teaches PE. ~ anon

Nothing that is worth knowing can be taught. ~ Oscar Wilde

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. ~ Chinese proverb

The secret of teaching is to appear to have known all your life what you just learned this afternoon. ~ Anon

No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge. ~ Kahlil Gibran

The first duty of a lecturer – to hand you after an hour’s discourse a nugget of pure truth to wrap up between the pages of your notebooks and keep on the mantelpiece for ever. ~ Virginia Woolf

It is no use saying “we are doing our best.” You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary. ~ Winston Churchill

In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments – there are consequences. ~ R. G. Ingersoll

They are able who think they are able. ~ Virgil

Learn your theories as well as you can, but put them aside when you touch the miracle of a living soul. ~ Carl Jung

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. ~ Henry David Thoreau

I’m a slow walker, but I never walk back. ~ Abraham Lincoln

Better go back than go wrong. ~ Anon

Good is not good where better is expected. ~ Thomas Fuller

Better is the enemy of good. ~ Voltaire

What one has to do usually can be done. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Sometimes it is more important to discover what one cannot do, than what one can do. ~ Lin Yutang

God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas, but for scars. ~ Elbert Hubbard

Hamlet is the tragedy of tackling a family problem too soon after college. ~ Tom Masson

A good scare is worth more than good advice. ~ Edgar Watson Howe

There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings. ~ Hodding Carter

Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it. ~ Harold S. Hulbert

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder without any such gift from the fairies, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in. ~ Rachel Carson

There are those who would misteach us that to stick in a rut is consistency — and a virtue, and that to climb out of the rut is inconsistency — and a vice. ~ Mark Twain

As admirable as consistency may sometimes be, it is not the truth, and in a way it violates truth by holding the mind in a vise. ~ Roger Rosenblatt

Experience is the name so many people give to their mistakes. ~ Oscar Wilde

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience — well, that comes from poor judgment. ~ Anon

The trouble with using experience as a guide is that the final exam comes before the lesson. ~ Anon

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

What we call education and culture is for the most part nothing but the substitution of reading for experience, of literature for life, of the obsolete fictitious for the contemporary real. ~ George Bernard Shaw


All that I know I learned after I was thirty. ~ Georges Clemenceau

The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in time of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality. ~ Dante

We should take care not to make the intellect our God; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality. ~ Albert Einstein

Intelligence is derived from two words — inter and legere — inter meaning ‘between’ and legere meaning ‘to choose.’ An intelligent person, therefore, is one who has learned ‘to choose between.’ He knows that good is better than evil, that confidence should supersede fear, that love is superior to hate, that gentleness is better than cruelty, forbearance than intolerance, compassion than arrogance, and that truth has more virtue than ignorance. ~ J Martin Rlotsche

We owe almost all our knowledge not to those who have agreed, but to those who have differed. ~ Charles Caleb Colton

In all affairs, love, religion, politics or business, it’s a healthy idea, now and then to hang a question mark on things you have long taken for granted. ~ Bertrand Russell

The simplest questions are the hardest to answer. ~ Northrop Frye

Achilles absent was Achilles still. ~ Homer

A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation. ~ Saki

One man who has a mind and knows it can always beat ten men who haven’t and don’t. ~ G B Shaw

If you keep your mind sufficiently opened, people will throw a lot of rubbish into it. ~ William Orton

Wise men learn more from fools than fools from wise men. ~ Proverb

God gives the nuts, but he does not crack them. ~ German proverb

If we wish to know the force of human genius, we should read Shakespeare. If we wish to see the insignificance of human learning, we may study his commentators. ~ William Hazlitt

Research, as the college student will come to know it, is relatively thorough investigation, primarily in libraries, of a properly limited topic, and presentation of the results of this investigation in a carefully organized and documented paper of some length. ~ Cecil Williams & Alan Stevenson

to be nobody but yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting. ~ e. e. cummings

Blessed are they who have nothing to say, and who cannot be persuaded to say it. ~ James Russell Lowell

Success is that old A B C — ability, breaks and courage. ~ Charles Luckman

I cannot give you a formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is — try to please everybody. ~ Herbert Bayard Swope

Profundity of thought belongs to youth, clarity of thought to old age. ~ Nietzsche

Every real thought on every real subject knocks the wind out of somebody or other. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr

All human wisdom is summed up in two words — wait and hope. ~ Alexander Dumas the Elder

There’s absolutely no reason for being rushed along with the crowd. Everybody should be free to go very slow . . . what you want, what you’re hanging around in the world for, is for something to occur to you. ~ Robert Frost

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years. ~ Mark Twain

It is all that the young can do for the old, to shock them and keep them up-to-date. ~ G B Shaw

Trouble is, kids feel they have to shock their elders, and each generation grows up into something harder to shock. ~ Cal Craig

The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents and the second half by our children. ~ Clarence Darrow

Nature makes boys and girls lovely to look upon so they can be tolerated until they acquire some sense. ~ William Lyon Phelps

Life does not begin at the moment of conception or the moment of birth. It begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies. ~ Anon

My mother didn’t breast-feed me. She said she liked me as a friend. ~ Rodney Dangerfield


Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt. ~ Herbert Hoover

One of the disadvantages of having children is that they eventually get old enough to give you presents they make at school. ~ Robert Byrne

Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater. ~ Gail Godwin

University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small. ~ Henry Kissinger

I think the world is run by C students. ~ A1 McGuire

I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy next to me. ~ Woody Allen

You can’t expect a boy to be vicious till he’s been to a good school. ~ Saki

If it weren’t for the last minute nothing would get done. ~ Anon

Remember that a kick in the ass is a step forward. ~ Anon

What is algebra, exactly? Is it those three-cornered things? ~ J M Barrie

I think it would be a good idea. ~ Mahatma Gandhi when asked what he thought of Western civilization

Bad spellers of the world, untie. ~ Grafitto

I took a course in speed reading and was able to read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It’s about Russia. ~ Woody Allen

People who think they know everything are very irritating to those of us who do. ~ Anon

If God had wanted sex to be fun, He wouldn’t have included children as punishment. ~ Ed Bluestone

Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth. ~ Erma Bombeck

Learning to dislike children at an early age saves a lot of aggravation later in life. ~ R. Byrne

If you’re not beguiling by age twelve, forget it. ~ Lucy (Schultz)

When you are eight years old, nothing is any of your business. ~ Lenny Bruce

I was so naive as a kid I used to sneak behind the barn and do nothing. ~ Johnny Carson

Young people are more hopeful at a certain age than adults, but I suspect that’s glandular. As for children, I keep as far from them as possible. I don’t like the sight of them. The scale is all wrong. The heads tend to be too big for their bodies, and the hands and feet are a disaster. They keep falling into things. The nakedness of their bad character! We adults have learned how to disguise our terrible character, but children, well, they are like grotesque drawings of us. They should be neither seen nor heard, and no one must make another one. ~ Gore Vida1

The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy. ~ Sam Levenson

I never met a kid I liked. ~ W C. Fields

Aristotle was famous for knowing everything. He taught that the brain exists merely to cool the blood and is not involved in the process of thinking. This is true only of certain persons. ~ Will Cuppy

In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards. ~ Mark Twain

When I see birches bent to right and left\Across the line of straighter darker trees, I like to think some boy’s been swinging them. But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay . . . ice storms do that. Once they are bowed. So low for so long, they never right themselves. ~ Robert Frost

Having a child is surely the most beautifully irrational act that two people in love can commit. ~ Bill Cosby

. . or even two people casually acquainted. ~ Margaret Johnson

When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and, for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it. Always. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

He has a right to criticize who has a heart to help. ~ Abraham Lincoln

You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery


One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. ~ Andre Gide

The severity of a teacher is more useful than the indulgence of a parent. ~ Sa’adi

Some days are like being in the ‘ten items or less’ line behind a dozen people who don’t understand the new math. ~ Charlie Brown

How is it that little children are so intelligent while men are so stupid? It must be education that does it. ~ Alexandre Dumas, fils

I’m bilingual. I speak English and educationese. ~ Shirley Hufstedler

Our ideals are like the stars. We can never reach them, but we chart our course by them. ~ Montaigne

The door to success is labeled PUSH. ~ Oscar Wilde

Time, as it grows old, teaches all things. ~ Aeschylus

The wise man does at once what the fool does finally. ~ Baltasar Gracian

In all things we learn only from those we love. ~ Goethe

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~ Aesop

A good deed never goes unpunished. ~ Gore Vidal

Maturity is not a goal, but rather a process. ~ Leo Buscaglia

He who has no hair on his lip cannot be trusted to do anything well. ~ Chinese proverb

Our greatest duty and our main responsibility is to help others. But please, if you can’t help them, would you please not hurt them. ~ The Dalai Lama of Tibet

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that’s the essence of inhumanity. ~ George Bernard Shaw

The adult with a capacity for true maturity is one who has grown out of childhood without losing childhood’s best traits. ~ Joseph Stone

The more I read, the more I meditate; and the more I acquire, the more I am enabled to affirm that I know nothing. ~ Voltaire

True wisdom is to know the extent of what you don’t know quite as well as you know what you do know. ~ Gore Vidal

The used key is always bright. ~ Benjamin Franklin

When you steal from one author, it’s plagiarism; when you steal from many, it’s research. ~ Wilson Mizner

Words are like winter’s snowflakes. ~ Homer

Love not what you are but only what you may become. ~ Cervantes

The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. ~ Proverb

Wait for the wisest of all counselors – time. ~ Pericles

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, Not even in your dreams You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Childhood shows the man, as morning shows the day. ~ John Milton

I am not young enough to know everything. ~ Oscar Wilde

When I was young there was no respect for the young, and now that I am old there is no respect for the old I missed out coming and going. ~ J. B. Priestley

What is of value and wisdom to one man is nonsense to another. ~ Hermann Hesse


Thinking is like loving and dying — each of us must do it for himself. ~ Josiah Royce

Education — that which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding. ~ Ambrose Bierce

Philosophy – a route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. ~ Ambrose Bierce

“I just sort of drifted into it.” That’s almost always the explanation for everything. ~ Gore Vidal

Any fool can make a rule. ~ Henry David Thoreau

After all is said and done, more is said than done. ~ Anon

The trouble ain’t that people are ignorant; it’s that they know so much that ain’t so. ~ Josh Billings

Anyone who has brought up children knows that consistency has absolutely nothing to do with discipline. ~ Bill Cosby

Better that a girl has beauty than brains, because boys see better than they think. ~ Anon

Good teachers must primarily be enthusiasts like writers, painters and priests, they must have a sense of vocation — a deep-rooted unsentimental desire to do good. ~ Noel Coward, adapted

Educating a beautiful woman is like pouring honey into a fine Swiss watch: everything stops. ~ Kurt Vonnegut

The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

I didn’t know the facts of life until I was seventeen. My father never talked about his work. ~ Martin Freud

What Peter tells you about Paul tells you more about Peter than it does about Paul. ~ Anon

One only understands the things that one tames. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

One must observe the proper rites. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Common sense is not so common. ~ Voltaire

A man who doubts himself is like a man who would enlist in the ranks of his enemies and bear arms against himself. He makes his failure certain by himself being the first person to be convinced of it. ~ Alexandre Dumas, fils

Shallow brooks are noisy. Deep rivers flow in silent majesty. ~ Anon

Man must first live, then philosophize. ~ Will Durant

Perhaps the most important single cause of a person’s success or failure educationally has to do with the question of what he believes about himself. ~ Arthur Combs

The ideal committee is one with me as chairman and two other members in bed with the flu. ~ Lord Milverton

Poets tell many lies. ~ Solon

Bad herdsmen ruin their flocks. ~ Homer

The nail that sticks out is hammered down. ~ Japanese proverb

208. If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to treat everything as though it were a nail. ~ Abraham Maslow

Those who can’t beat the ass beat the saddle. ~ Roman proverb

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool. To weep is to risk being called sentimental. To reach out to another is to risk involvement. To expose feelings is to risk showing your true self. To place your ideas and your dreams before the crowd is to risk being called a fool. To love is to risk not being loved in return. To live is to risk dying. To hope is to risk despair, and to try is to risk failure. But risks must be taken, because the greatest risk in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, is nothing and becomes nothing. ~ Leo Buscaglia

We think much less than what we know. We know much less than what we love. We love much less than what there is. And to this precise extent, we are much less than what we are. ~ R.D. Laing

What we are is seldom what we want to be, while what we want to be is either denied us or changes with the seasons. ~ Gore Vidal

Kids! What on earth’s the matter with kids today! Kids! Always rude, obnoxious and in the way! Why can’t they be more like us? Perfect in every way. What’s the matter with kids today? ~ from the Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie


Each path is only one of a million paths. Therefore, you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path. If you feel that you must not follow it, you need not stay with it under any circumstances. Any path is only a path. There is no affront to yourself or others in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear and ambition. I warn you: look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself and yourself alone one question. It is this: does this path have a heart? All paths are the same. They lead nowhere. They are paths going through the brush or into the brush or under the brush. Does this path have a heart is the only question. If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn’t, then it is of no use. ~ Carlos Castaneda

There is always room at the top. ~ Daniel Webster

Headmasters have powers at their disposal with which Prime Ministers and Presidents have never yet been invested. ~ Winston Churchill

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it. ~ Oscar Wilde

Since no one can ever know for certain whether or not his own view of life is the correct one, it is absolutely impossible for him to know if someone else’s is the wrong one. ~ Gore Vidal

There is no such thing as a true account of anything. ~ Gore Vidal

The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

To learn and not to think over what you have learned is perfectly useless. To think without having learned is dangerous. ~ Gore Vidal

Nothing is true except from a single point of view. ~ Gore Vidal

No one has ever taught anything to anybody. ~ Carl Rogers

Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave. ~ Lord Brougham

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

Knowledge has outstripped character development, and the young today are given an education rather than an upbringing. ~ Ilya Ehrenburg

We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bellyful of words and do not know a thing. ~ Emerson

An education which does not cultivate the will is an education that depraves the mind. ~ Anatole France

Education doesn’t change life much. It just lifts trouble to a higher plane of regard. ~ Robert Frost

If you feel that you have both feet planted on level ground, then the university has failed you. ~ Robert Goheen

There is only one curriculum, no matter what the method of education: what is basic and universal in human experience and practice, the underlying structure of culture. ~ Paul Goodman

Much learning does not teach understanding. ~ Heraclitus

State a moral case to a ploughman and a professor. The former will decide it as well, and often better than the latter, because he has not been led astray by artificial rules. ~ Thomas Jefferson

The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth. ~ J. F. Kennedy

I find the three major administrative problems on a campus are sex for the students, athletics for the alumni, and parking for the faculty. ~ Clark Kerr

Our schools have become vast factories for the manufacture of robots. We no longer send our young to them primarily to be taught and given the tools of thought, no longer primarily to be informed and acquire knowledge; but to be ‘socialized.’ ~ Robert Lindner

School days, I believe, are the unhappiest in the whole span of human existence. They are full of dull, unintelligible tasks, new and unpleasant ordinances, brutal violations of common sense and common decency. ~ H L Mencken

Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model, and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree, which requires to grow and develop itself on all sides, according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing. ~ John Stuart Mill

Once you have the cap and gown all you need do is open your mouth. Whatever nonsense you talk becomes wisdom, and all the rubbish, good sense. ~ Moliere

The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life. ~ Plato

Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind. ~ Plato

Nature without learning is blind, learning apart from nature is fractional, and practice in the absence of both is aimless. ~ Plutarch

There is nothing so stupid as an educated man, if you get off the thing that he was educated in. ~ Will Rogers

Lack of something to feel important about is almost the greatest tragedy a man may have. ~ Arthur E. Morgan


Education, like neurosis, begins at home. ~ Milton Sapirstein

When we give proper weight to local conditions, any generalization is a working hypothesis, not a conclusion. ~ Lee Cronbach

Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned. ~ Mark Twain

How we hate this solemn EGO that accompanies the learned, like a double, wherever he goes. ~ Emerson

Tim was so learned that he could name a horse in nine languages; so ignorant that he bought a cow to ride on. ~ Benjamin Franklin

The scholar seeks, the artist finds. ~ Andre Gide

It is the vice of scholars to suppose that there is no knowledge in the world but that of books. ~ William Hazlitt

The world’s great men have not commonly been great scholars, nor its great scholars great men. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr

Life is surely given us for higher purposes than to gather what our ancestors have wisely thrown away, and to learn what is of no value but because it has been forgotten. ~ Samuel Johnson

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. ~ Jonathan Kozol, On Being a Teacher

Scholarship is polite argument. ~ Philip Rieff

This is the great vice of academicism, that it is concerned with ideas rather than with thinking. ~ Lionel Trilling

Teachers, who educate children, deserve more honor than parents, who merely gave them birth; for the latter provided mere life, while the former ensure a good life. ~ Aristotle

I pay the schoolmaster, but ’tis the schoolboys that educate my son. ~ Emerson

One teacher is better than two books. ~ German proverb

A teacher who can arouse a feeling for one single good action, for one single good poem, accomplishes more than he who fills our memory with rows and rows of natural objects, classified with name and form. ~ Goethe

The greater part of the people we assign to educate our children we know for certain are not educated. Yet we do not doubt that they can give what they have not received, a thing which cannot be otherwise acquired. ~ Giacomo Leopardi

It is easier for a teacher to command than to teach. ~ John Locke

An educator never says what he himself thinks, but only that which he thinks it is good for those whom he is educating to hear. ~ Nietzsche

He who wishes to teach us a truth should not tell it to us, but simply suggest it with a brief gesture, a gesture which starts an ideal trajectory in the air along which we glide until we find ourselves at the feet of the new truth. ~ Jose Ortega y Gasset

Too much rigidity on the part of teachers should be followed by a brisk spirit of insubordination on the part of the taught. ~ Agnes Repplier

One good teacher in a lifetime may sometimes change a delinquent into a solid citizen. ~ Philip Wylie

Knowledge is power. ~ Francis Bacon

Knowledge is power. Unfortunate dupes of this saying will keep on reading, ambitiously, till they have stunned their native initiative, and made their thoughts weak. ~ Clarence Day

He that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. ~ Ecclesiastes

There is no subject so old that something new cannot be said about it. ~ Dostoevsky

He who does not know one thing knows another. Kenyan proverb

It is one thing to know one thing and another thing to know another thing. ~ A. R. Ammons

Rather know nothing than half-know much. ~ Nietzsche

So much has already been written about everything that you can’t find out anything about it. ~ James Thurber


The things we know best are the things we haven’t been taught. ~ Vauvenargues

Man’s reach must exceed his grasp, else what’s a heaven for? ~ Robert Browning

I have learned throughout my life as a composer chiefly through my mistakes and pursuits of false assumptions, not by my exposure to founts of wisdom and knowledge. ~ Igor Stravinsky

Who takes the child by the hand takes the mother by the heart. ~ Danish proverb

There never was a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him asleep. ~ Emerson

Children are completely egoistic; they feel their needs intensely and strive ruthlessly to satisfy them. ~ Sigmund Freud

Juvenile appraisals of other juveniles make up in clarity what they lack in charity. ~ Edgar Friedenburg

What children hear at home soon flies abroad. ~ Thomas Fuller

Children need models rather than critics. ~ Joseph Joubert

Children are the true connoisseurs. What’s precious to them has no price – only value. ~ Bel Kaufman

A torn jacket is soon mended; but hard words bruise the heart of a child. ~ Longfellow

A child is not frightened at the thought of being patiently transmuted into an old man. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I had a great feeling of relief when I began to understand that a youngster needs more than just subject matter. Oh, I know mathematics well, and I teach it well I used to think that that was all I needed to do. Now I teach children, not math I accept the fact that I can only succeed partially with some of them. I have found further that my own personhood has educatable value. When I don’t have to know all the answers, I seem to have more answers than before when I tried to be the expert. The youngster who really made me understand this was Eddie I asked him one day why he thought he was doing so much better than last year Be gave meaning to my whole new orientation. ‘It’s because I like myself now when I’m with you,’ he said. ~ A teacher quoted by Everett Shostrom in Man, the Manipulator

A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark. ~ Chinese proverb

Self love, my liege, is not so vile a sin as self neglecting. ~ Shakespeare

The student takes his self-concept with him wherever he goes . . . Are we influencing that self-concept in positive or negative ways? We need to ask ourselves these kinds of questions. How can a person feel liked unless somebody likes him? How can a person feel wanted unless somebody wants him? How can a person feel accepted unless somebody accepts him? How can a person feel he’s a person with dignity and integrity unless somebody treats him so? And how can a person feel that he is capable unless he has some success? ~ Arthur Combs

Every effort is made to ensure that each entry has a reasonable chance of victory. ~ Printed on an automobile drag-strip racing program

Students who experience repeated success in school are likely to develop positive feelings about their abilities, while those who encounter failure tend to develop negative views of themselves. ~ William Purkey

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A poignant paradox is that sometimes the very desire to be a good mother or father will lead the parent to mistake duty for love. ~ William Purkey

The most deadly of all sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit. ~ Erik Erikson

You see, really and truly, apart from the things anyone can pick up (the dressing and the proper way of speaking, and so on), the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she’s treated. I shall always be a flower girl to Professor Higgins, because he always treats me as a flower girl, and always will; but I know I can be a lady to you, because you always treat me as a lady, and always will. ~ George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion

The beautiful compensation of developing favorable self-concepts in students is that the teacher cannot build positive self-concepts in students without building his own. ~ William Purkey

The teacher as a person is more important than the teacher as a technician What he is has more effect than anything he does. ~ Jack Canfield

Knowledge — that is, education in its true sense — is our best protection against unreasoning prejudice and panic-making fear, whether engendered by special interest, illiberal minorities, or panic-stricken leaders. ~ Franklin D Roosevelt

Whatever one believes to be true either is true or becomes true in one’s mind. ~ John C Lilly

This above all – to shine own self be true; And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. ~ Shakespeare

Let people realize clearly that every time they threaten someone or humiliate or hurt unnecessarily or dominate or reject another human being, they become forces for the creation of psychopathology, even if these be small forces. Let them recognize that every man who is kind, helpful, decent, psychologically democratic, affectionate and warm, is a psychotherapeutic force even though a small one. ~ Abraham Maslow

Perhaps a child who is fussed over gets a feeling of destiny, he thinks he is in the world for something important and it gives him drive and confidence. ~ Benjamin Spock

A child should always say what’s true, And speak when he is spoken to, And behave mannerly at table: At least as far as he is able. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Life’s aspirations come in the guise of children. ~ Rabindranath Tagore


It is true that a child is always hungry all over; but he is also curious all over, and his curiosity is excited about as early as his hunger. ~ Charles Dudley Warner

Children begin by loving their parents After a time they judge them Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them. ~ Oscar Wilde

All young people want to kick up their heels and defy convention; most of them would prefer to do it at a not too heavy cost. ~ Elmer Davis

The youth of a nation are the trustees of posterity.~ Benjamin Disraeli

Those who love the young best stay young longest. ~ Edgar Friedenberg

A wild colt may become a sober horse. ~ Thomas Fuller

Everyone believes in his youth that the world really began with him, and that all merely exists for his sake. ~ Goethe

Young people are thoughtless as a rule. ~ Homer

It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it. ~ W. Somerset Maugham

It is, indeed, one of the capital tragedies of youth – and youth is the time of real tragedy – that the young are thrown mainly with adults they do not quite respect. ~ H L Mencken

As a result of all his education, from everything he hears and sees around him, the child absorbs such a lot of lies and foolish nonsense, mixed in with essential truths, that the first duty of the adolescent who wants to be a healthy man is to disgorge it all. ~ Romain Rolland

We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future. ~ Franklin D Roosevelt.

In early youth, as we contemplate our coming life, we are like children in a theatre before the curtain is raised, sitting there in high spirits and eagerly waiting for the play to begin. ~ Schopenhauer

Don’t laugh at a youth for his affectations; he is only trying on one face after another to find a face of his own. ~ Logan Pearsall Smith

I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well. ~ Alexander the Great

The teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron ~ Horace Mann

An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Education commences at the mother’s knee. ~ Hosea Balloo

Public instruction should be the first object of government. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth. ~ Aristotle

Be that will have his son have a respect for him and his orders must himself have a great reverence for his son. ~ John Locke

You can’t wipe away tears with notebook paper ~ Charles Schultz

The secret to speed-reading is moving your lips faster. ~ Charles Schultz

The best index to a person’s character is a) how he treats people who can’t do him any good and b) how he treats people who can’t fight back. ~ Abigail Van Buren

Simplify! Simplify! ~ Henry David Thoreau

So simple even a child can do it. ~ advertising slogan

Things should be as simple as possible, but not simpler. ~ Albert Einstein

Let such teach others who themselves excel, And censure freely who have written well. ~ Alexander Pope

Mrs. Shelley was choosing a school for her son, and asked the advice of this lady, who gave for advice — to use her own words to me — ‘Just the sort of banality, you know, one does come out with: ‘Oh, send him somewhere where they will teach him to think for himself!’ Mrs. Shelley answered: ‘Teach him to think for himself? Oh, my God, teach him rather to think like other people!’ ~ Matthew Arnold

Teach me to feel another’s woe, To hide the fault I see; That mercy I to others show, That mercy show to me. ~ Alexander Pope


Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe. ~ H. G Wells

All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education. ~ Sir Walter Scott

Education has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading. ~ G M. Trevelyan

Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience. he that travelleth into a country before he hath some entrance into the language, goeth to school, and not to travel. ~ Francis Bacon

Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run. ~ Mark Twain

We’ll teach you to drink deep ‘ere you depart. ~ Shakespeare

Those that do teach young babes, Do it with gentle means and easy tasks, ~ Shakespeare, Othello

The years teach much which the days never know. ~ Emerson

Charmian: In each thing give him way, cross him in nothing. Cleopatra: Thou teachest like a fool; the way to lose him. ~ Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra

If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men’s cottages princes’ palaces; It is a good divine that follows his own instructions; I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching. ~ Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice

I’m still not sure what the truly educated person is, but I’m certain it’s not dependent upon years of formal schooling. We will have been only half educated unless we have acquired survival techniques, a sense of human dignity and worth, an appreciation of life, the ability to give and receive love, the knowledge of how to use our limited time wisely, and the determination to leave the world a better place for having been in it. ~ Leo Buscaglia

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire; you will what you imagine; and at last you create what you will. ~ George Bernard Shaw

It is not enough to offer a smorgasbord of courses. We must ensure that students are not just eating at one end of the table. ~ A Bartlett Giamatti

When I was teaching in the public schools, I can remember the many teachers’ meetings and seminars we were obliged to attend. The purported purpose was to come together in order to focus more clearly on the main goals of education. Always, no matter how we worded our objectives or devised our formulas, the one recurring theme year after year was the need for total involvement From the policymakers to the implementers and the recipient students, the key ingredient in a successful education program was the active participation of everyone. ~ Leo Buscaglia

Hard is to teach an old horse amble true. ~ Edmund Spenser

I’m all for bringing back the birch, but only between consenting adults. ~ Gore Vidal

Uniting a school behind an academic endeavor is no easy task. ~ Frank Pajares

There are three important qualities of a good family. These are love, cooperation, and positive expectations. So it should be in a good school. ~ William Cooper Smith

Children need invitations the way flowers need sunshine. When they are treated with indifference, they are likely to become indifferent to themselves and to school. ~ William Purkey

It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

When teachers have a low expectation level for their children’s learning, the children seldom exceed that expectation This is the self-fulfilling prophecy. ~ John Niemeyer

What a shame it is that children are constantly being ranked and evaluated. What a shame it is that superior achievement of one child tends to debase the achievement of another. ~ from Society and the Adolescent self-image

Assist the headmaster, as requested, in all matters pertinent to the effective management of the school. ~ Last item in a 62-item principal’s job description

Few teachers truly understand the effect which they have on their students. Fewer yet give much thought to the tremendous damage which their actions and attitudes often have. Our problem as educators is that far too often we begin the academic year worrying more about our courses and about our academic responsibilities than about our student, those fragile human beings who sit across from us and stare, waiting to learn and eager to know. ~ Frank Pajares

The Lord is my external-internal integrative mechanism. I shall not be deprived of gratifications for my viscogeneric-hungers or my need dispositions. He motivates me to orient myself towards a non-social object with affective significance. He positions me in a nondecisional situation. He maximizes my adjustment. ~ The Psalm according to Alan Simpson

Childhood is a syndrome which has only recently begun to receive serious attention from clinicians. The syndrome itself, however, is not at all recent. As early as the eighth century, the Persian historian Kidnom made reference to ‘short, noisy creatures,’ who may well have been what we now call ‘children.’ The treatment of children, however, was unknown until this century, when so-called ‘child psychologists’ and ‘child psychiatrists’ became common. Despite this history of clinical neglect, it has been estimated that well over half of all Americans alive today have experienced childhood directly (Seuss, 1983). In fact, the actual numbers are probably much higher, since these data are based on self-reports which may be subject to social desirability biases and retrospective distortions. ~ from The Etiology of Childhood, by Jordan W. Smoller. Networker, March/April 1987

Look, Charlie Brown! A letter from Miss Othmar! Only her name isn’t Othmar anymore . . . it’s Mrs. Hagemeyer! She thanks me for the egg shells I sent, and says she’ll keep them forever . . . and she says she misses all the kids in her class, but you know who she says she misses most? ME!! ~ Linus

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught. ~ Oscar Wilde

You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him discover it within himself. ~ Galileo

I cannot but think that to apperceive your pupil as a little sensitive, impulsive, associative, and reactive organism, partly fated and partly free, will lead to a better intelligence of all his ways. Understand him, then, as such a subtle little piece of machinery. And if, in addition, you can also see him sub specie boni, and love him as well, you will be in the best possible position for becoming perfect teachers. ~ William James

We must cultivate our garden. ~ Voltaire

These selections are taken from Reflections on Education, by Frank Pajares



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