Quotes and Thoughts on Education

August 30, 2012 - 11:49 am 15 Comments

Quotes, Thoughts and Reflections on Education

In the long run men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high.

– Henry David Thoreau


The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.

Robert Hutch

It is in fact a part of the function of education to help us escape –not from our own time,  for we are bound by that– but from the intellectual and emotional limitations of our own time.

T.S. Eliot

Education is the instruction of the intellect in the laws of Nature, under which name I  include not merely things and their forces, but men and their ways; and the fashioning of the affections and of the will into an earnest and loving desire to move in harmony with those laws.

T.H. Huxley

The entire object of true education is to make people not merely to do the right things,but to enjoy them; not merely industrious, but to love industry; not merely learned, but to love knowledge; not merely pure, but to love purity; not merely just, but to hunger and  thirst after justice.                            John Ruskin

The man who can make hard things easy is the educator.                            Ralph Waldo Emerson

El hombre que puede hacer fácil lo difícil es el educador.

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates.

The great teacher inspires.                          William Arthur Ward

El educador mediocre habla. El buen educador explica. El educador superior demuestra.

El gran educador inspira.

I touch the future, I teach                     Christa McAuliffe                          Yo palpo el futuro, yo enseño.

Those who educate children well are more to be honored than even their parents,

for these only give them life; those the art of living well.                                  Aristotle

The most extraordinary thing about a really good teacher is that he or she who

transcends accepted educational methods.                                Margaret Mead

The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence.      A. Bronson Alcott

El buen maestro defiende a sus alumnos contra su propia influencia personal.

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

Albert Einstein

Teachers are more than any other class the guardians of civilization.         Bertrand Russell

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

Modern cynics and skeptics…see no harm in paying those to whom they entrust the minds of their children a smaller wage

than is paid to those to whom they entrust the care of their plumbing.   John F. Kennedy

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who

touched our human feelings.                                           Carl Gustav Jung

Children need models rather than critics.                                 Joseph Joubert

Los niños necesitan modelos que imitar, no críticos.

The first idea that the child must acquire in order to be actively disciplined is that of the

difference between good and evil; and the task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility and evil with activity.                                 María Montessori

It is greater work to educate a child, in the true and larger sense of the word, than to rule a state.

William Ellery Channing

The highest result of education is tolerance.                                  Helen Keller

El resultado más elevado de la educación es la tolerancia.

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

All who have meditated in the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the

fate of empires depends on the education of the youth                                 Aristotle

In the conditions of modern life the rule is absolute, the race which does not value trained

intelligence is doomed…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

Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the

education of all adults of every age?                                  Eric Fromm

Only the educated are free.                                  Epictetus

Sólo las personas educadas son libres.

Educate a man and you educate an individual – Educate a woman and you educate a family.

Agnes Cripps

Educad un hombre y educaréis a un individuo. Educad una mujer y educaréis una familia

Education is the cheap defense of nations.                                Edmund Burke

La educación es la menos cara de las defensas de una nación.

Education should be related to an intercultural and interdependent world. A world in which education teaches man to foster sharing attitudes, to compete with oneself and not with others, leaning to be tolerant, and to develop pity and solidarity for the suffering of  mankind. A world free from prejudices, where learning to care, learning to be, learning to share, learning to grasp the hole and act on the parts, and learning to carry on learning should be society’s main objectives.

Miguel Ángel Escotet

It is only the ignorant who despise education.                                Publilius Syrus

Sólo los ignorantes desprecian la educación

If you plan for a year, plant a seed. If for ten years, plant a tree.

If for a hundred years, teach the people.                                 Kuang Chung

Sixty years ago I knew everything; now I know nothing;

education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.          Will Durant

You have to study a long time to know anything at all.                                  Montesquieu

Hay que estudiar largo tiempo para saber un poco.

There is nothing more fruitful than ignorance aware of itself.                        José Ortega y Gasset

No hay nada más fecundo que la ignorancia consciente de sí misma.

e don’t understand life any better at forty than at twenty, but at forty we know it and at sixty we are finally willing to admit it.                                 Jules Renard

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.      Bertrand Russell

From the very beginning of his education, the child should experience the joy of discovery.

Alfred North Whitehead

Despite her influential role in educational thought, Montessori has been neglected by quotation anthologists

(nothing from her is to be found in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations or the Oxford Book of Quotations, and she

has only one entry in the Yale Book of Quotations).  To help remedy this oversight, I present a dozen of her best

quotations below: ( copied from Dr. Mardy’s quotes)

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”

“No social problem is as universal as the oppression of the child.”

“Do not erase the designs the child makes in the soft wax of his inner life.”

“To ensure moral salvation, it is primarily necessary to depend

on oneself because in the moment of peril we are alone.”

“We teachers can only help the work going on, as servants waiting upon a master.”

“There can be no substitute for work, neither affection nor physical well-being can replace it.”

“The development of the individual can be described as

a succession of new births at consecutively higher levels.”

“The world of education is like an island where people,

cut off from the world, are prepared for life by exclusion from it.”

“The greatest sign of success for a teacher . . . is to be able to say,

‘The children are now working as if I did not exist’.”

“The only language men ever speak perfectly is the one they learn in babyhood,

when no one can teach them anything!”

“If education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge,

there is little to be hoped from it in the bettering of man’s future.” “Our care of the child should be governed,

not by the desire ‘to make him learn things’,  but by the endeavor always to keep burning within him that light

which is called the intelligence.”


The teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn

Is hammering on cold iron.                           Horace Mann

Learning is discovering that something is possible.                           Fritz Perls

Aprender es descubrir que algo es posible.

Education is not the filing of a pail, but the burning of a fire               William Butler Yeats Le educación no consiste en llenar un cántaro sino en enceder un fuego.

Pain makes man think. Thought makes man wise. Wisdom makes life endurable.     John Patrick

It will be said that the joy of mental adventure must be rare, that there are few who can appreciate it,

and that ordinary education can take no account of so aristocratic a good. I do not believe this.

The joy of mental adventure is far commoner in the young than in  grown men and women. …It is rare in later life because everything is done to kill it during education.      Bertrand Russell

The test and the use of man’s education is that he finds pleasure in the exercise of his mind.

Jacques Barzun

La prueba y la medida de la educación de un hombre es el hecho de que encuentre placer

en el ejercicio de su mente.

Every great advancement in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination.  John Dewey

Cada uno de los grandes avances de la ciencia ha surgido como consecuencia de una

nueva audacia de la imaginación.

What scupture is to a block of marble, education is to the soul.                        Joseph Addison

La educación es al alma lo que la escultura es a un bloque de mármol

It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.              René Descartes

No es suficiente tener una buena mente. Lo principal es usarla bien

A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one.                                  Moliere

Un tonto educado es más tonto que uno ignorante.

Education with inert ideas is not only useless; it is above all things harmful

Alfred North Whitehead

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

You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should

be doing for themselves.                              Abraham Lincoln

In praising or loving a child, we love and praise not that which is, but that which we hope for.


Al amar o alabar a un niño, no alabamos y amamos lo que es sino lo que esperamos que Sea.

By learning you will teach; by teaching you will learn.                   Latin proverb

Al aprender enseñarás; al enseñar aprenderás.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day:

Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.                        Chinese proverb

Regala un pescado a un hombre y le darás alimento para un día. Enséñalo a pescar y lo

alimentarás para el resto de su vida.

A teacher is better than two books.                       German proverb

Un maestro es mejor que dos libros.

Whatever is good to know is difficult to learn. Greek Proverb

Cualquier cosa que vale la pena saber es difícil de aprender.

Education is light, lack of it is darkness.                                  Russian Proverb

La educación es luz, su ausencia es oscuridad.

When the mind is ready, a teacher appears                                 Zen Proverb

Cuando la mente está preparada, aparece un maestro

Wisdom is the best traveling companion                                      Spanish proverb

El saber es el mejor compañero de viaje

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