As a highly energetic and creative person, having to sit in a classroom all day often felt like being in a prison. While I love to learn, I found the whole model of schooling to be backwards and impractical for my needs.

The factory-style education system is oriented toward a certain kind of individual and the more creative, risk-taking and entrepreneurial oriented people often don’t fit very well in traditional schools.

Sitting in a classroom or working in a typical corporate office all day certainly isn’t for everyone.

For those who want to do creative work and become an entrepreneur, the rote learning model in our standardized school system isn’t very good preparation for life.

Reimagining Education For The 21st Century:

The fast-changing 21st century world requires a passion-driven learning system in which students can develop intrinsic self-motivation.

I strongly believe to solve the massive problems we face today, we will need a complete reimagining of our education system where students are exposed to people of all ages, take some risks where they might fail publicly and work to solve real problems that exist in their communities.

Over the last few years, I’ve been collecting quotes in my Evernote from a wide range of history’s greatest thinkers about how to facilitate better learning experiences that inspire curiosity and encourage students to get more involved in their communities.

Here is the full collection of inspiring learning and education quotes:

Lifelong Learning Quotes:

“In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time — none. Zero.” ―  Charlie Munger, Self-Made Billionaire

“In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

― Eric Hoffer

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”

― Henry Ford

“In the end, the secret to learning is so simple: forget about it. Think only about whatever you love. Follow it, do it, dream about it. One day, you will glance up at your collection of Japanese literature, or trip over the solar oven you built, and it will hit you: learning was there all the time, happening by itself.”

― Grace Llewellyn

“Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age?”

― Erich Fromm

“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.”

― Chinese Proverb

“All of the top achievers I know are life-long learners. Looking for new skills, insights, and ideas. If they’re not learning, they’re not growing and not moving toward excellence.”

― Denis Waitley

“I think the big mistake in schools is trying to teach children anything, and by using fear as the basic motivation. Fear of getting failing grades, fear of not staying with your class, etc. Interest can produce learning on a scale compared to fear as a nuclear explosion to a firecracker.”

― Stanley Kubrik

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

― Albert Einstein

 

Creativity Quotes:

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled." ― Plutarch

“We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.

― E. O. Wilson

“Cherish your visions and your dreams, as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.”

― Napoleon Hill

“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.”

― Edward de Bono

“Creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.”

― Ken Robinson

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”

― Steve Jobs

“Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.”

― Arthur Koestler

“I believe this passionately: that we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out if it.”

― Ken Robinson

“The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions.”

― Antony Jay

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

― Source Unknown

“Every artist was at first an amateur.”

― Ralph W. Emerson

“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”

― Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

“Creative work and critical thought, which produces new knowledge, can’t be conditioned; indeed, conditioning prevents these things from ever happening.”

― John Taylor Gatto

 

Learning By Doing Quotes:

“One must learn by doing the thing; for though you think you know it, you have no certainty, until you try.”

― Sophocles

“I hear and I forget.  I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

― Chinese Proverb

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

― Benjamin Franklin

“Don’t learn to do, but learn in doing. Let your falls not be on a prepared ground, but let them be bona fide falls in the rough and tumble of the world.”

― Samuel Butler

“People learn more quickly by doing something or seeing something done.”

― Gilbert Highet

“Give me a fish and I eat for a day. Teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime.”

― Chinese Proverb

 

Genius Quotes:

“I’ve concluded that genius is as common as dirt. We suppress our genius only because we haven’t yet figured out how to manage a population of educated men and women. The solution, I think, is simple and glorious. Let them manage themselves.”

― John Taylor Gatto

“Do not train children in learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”

― Plato

“It is as true now as it was then that no matter what tests show, very little of what is taught in school is learned, very little of what is learned is remembered, and very little of what is remembered is used. The things we learn, remember, and use are the things we seek out or meet in the daily, serious, non-school part of our lives.”

― John Holt

“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into ole age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.”

― Aldous Huxley

“Genius is the recovery of childhood at will.”

― Arthur Rimbaud

“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.”

― Aristotle

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

― Calvin Coolidge

 

Holistic Learning Quotes:

The ability to observe without evaluation is the highest form of intelligence. - Krishnamurti

“Principles for the Development of a Complete Mind: Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses- especially learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”

― Leonardo da Vinci

“The highest function of education is to bring about an integrated individual who is capable of dealing with life as a whole.”

― Krishnamurti

“What makes people smart, curious, alert, observant, competent, confident, resourceful, persistent – in the broadest and best sense, intelligent – is not having access to more and more learning places, resources and specialists, but being able in their lives to do a wide variety of interesting things that matter, things that challenge their ingenuity, skill, and judgement, and that make an obvious difference in their lives and the lives of the people around them.”

― John Holt

“Only the development of his inner powers can offset the dangers inherent in man’s losing control of the tremendous natural forces at his disposal and becoming the victim of his own achievements.”

― Roberto Assagioli

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialisation is for insects.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

“Education would be much more effective if its purpose was to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they do not know and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it.”

― William Haley

 

Leadership Quotes:

“Leaders are not, as we are often led to think, people who go along with huge crowds following them. Leaders are people who go their own way without caring, or even looking to see, whether anyone is following them. “Leadership qualities” are not the qualities that enable people to attract followers, but those that enable them to do without them. They include, at the very least, courage, endurance, patience, humor, flexibility, resourcefulness, stubbornness, a keen sense of reality, and the ability to keep a cool and clear head, even when things are going badly. True leaders, in short, do not make people into followers, but into other leaders.”

― John Holt

“Whatever an education is, it should make you a unique individual, not a conformist; it should furnish you with an original spirit with which to tackle the big challenges. It should allow you to find values which will be your road map through life; it should make you spiritually rich, a person who loves whatever you are doing, wherever you are, whomever you are with; it should teach you what is important, how to live and how to die.”

― John Taylor Gatto

“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of becoming.”

― Unknown

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

― Mark Twain

“The true test of character is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don’t know what to do.”

― John Holt

 

Growth Mindset Quotes:

“We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us. We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary.”

― Carol Dweck

“The competitive advantages the marketplace demands is someone more human, connected, and mature. Someone with passion and energy, capable of seeing things as they are and negotiating multiple priorities as she makes useful decisions without angst. Flexible in the face of change, resilient in the face of confusion. All of these attributes are choices, not talents, and all of them are available to you.”

― Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement; nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

― Helen Keller

“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, you can achieve.”

― Mary Kay Ash

“Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.”

― Henry Ford

“You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety.”

― Abraham Maslow

“After seven experiments with hundreds of children, we had some of the clearest findings I’ve ever seen: Praising children’s intelligence harms their motivation and it harms their performance. How can that be? Don’t children love to be praised? Yes, children love praise. And they especially love to be praised for their intelligence and talent. It really does give them a boost, a special glow—but only for the moment. The minute they hit a snag, their confidence goes out the window and their motivation hits rock bottom. If success means they’re smart, then failure means they’re dumb. That’s the fixed mindset.”

― Carol Dweck

 

Curiosity Quotes:

“All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind.”

― Martin H. Fischer

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school. It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. ”

― Albert Einstein

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

― Pablo Picasso

“We should not teach children the sciences but give them a taste for them.”

― Jean Jacques Rosseau

“Learning never exhausts the mind.”

― Leonardo Da Vinci

“No matter how he may think himself accomplished, when he sets out to learn a new language, science or the bicycle, he has entered a new realm as truly as if he were a child newly born into the world.”

― Frances Willard

“We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.”

― Lloyd Alexander

“Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every conceived notion, follow humbly wherever and whatever abysses nature leads, or you will learn nothing.”

― Thomas Huxley

“Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

“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

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether this happens at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps on learning not only remains young, but becomes constantly more valuable regardless of physical capacity.”

― Harvey Ullman

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”

― Albert Einstein

“I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”

― Isaac Newton

 

Schooling Quotes:

“Don’t let anyone tell you that standardized tests are not accurate measures. The truth of the matter is they offer a remarkably precise method for gauging the size of the houses near the school where the test was administered.”

― Alfie Kohn

“Just as eating contrary to the inclination is injurious to the health, so study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.”

– Leonardo da Vinci

“There were no sex classes. No friendship classes. No classes on how to navigate a bureaucracy, build an organization, raise money, create a database, buy a house, love a child, spot a scam, talk someone out of suicide, or figure out what was important to me. Not knowing how to do these things is what messes people up in life, not whether they know algebra or can analyze literature.”

– William Upski Wimsatt

“The system manufactures students who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it.”

― William Deresiewicz, Excellent Sheep

“Nothing bothers me more than when people criticize my criticism of school by telling me that schools are not just places to learn maths and spelling, they are places where children learn a vaguely defined thing called socialization. I know. I think schools generally do an effective and terribly damaging job of teaching children to be infantile, dependent, intellectually dishonest, passive and disrespectful to their own developmental capacities.”

– Seymour Papert

“Think of the things killing us as a nation: narcotic drugs, brainless competition, dishonesty, greed, recreational sex, the pornography of violence, gambling, alcohol, and — the worst pornography of all — lives devoted to buying things, accumulation as a philosophy. All of these are addictions of dependent personalities. That is what our brand of schooling must inevitably produce. A large fraction of our total economy has grown up around providing service and counseling to inadequate people, and inadequate people are the main product of government compulsion schools.”

– John Taylor Gatto

“Education itself is a putting off, a postponement; we are told to work hard to get good results. Why? So we can get a good job. What is a good job? One that pays well. Oh. And that’s it? All this suffering, merely so that we can earn a lot of money, which, even if we manage it, will not solve our problems anyway? It’s a tragically limited idea of what life is all about.”

– Tom Hodgkinson

“The whole educational and professional training system is a very elaborate filter, which just weeds out people who are too independent, and who think for themselves, and who don’t know how to be submissive, and so on – because they’re dysfunctional to the institutions.”

– Noam Chomsky

“What is the purpose of industrial education? To fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence? Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States and that is its aim everywhere else.”

– H. L. Mencken

“The anxiety children feel at constantly being tested, their fear of failure, punishment, and disgrace, severely reduces their ability both to perceive and to remember, and drives them away from the material being studied into strategies for fooling teachers into thinking they know what they really don’t know.”

– John Holt

“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

“Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.”

― B. F. Skinner

“What does education often do? It makes a straight-cut ditch of a free, meandering brook.”

– Henry David Thoreau

“The school system … is the homogenizing hopper into which we toss our integral tots for processing.”

–  Marshall McLuhan

“Our job is obvious: we need to get out of the way, shine a light, and empower a new generation to teach itself and to go further and faster than any generation ever has.”

– Seth Godin

“What rewards and punishments do is induce compliance, and this they do very well indeed. If your objective is to get people to obey an order, to show up on time and do what they’re told, then bribing or threatening them may be sensible strategies. But if your objective is to get long-term quality in the workplace, to help students become careful thinkers and self-directed learners, or to support children in developing good values, then rewards, like punishments, are absolutely useless. In fact, as we are beginning to see, they are worse than useless—they are actually counterproductive.”

― Alfie Kohn

“Home-based education is not an experiment. It’s how people learned to function in the world for centuries. And there is no reason to think people today can’t do the same thing. School is the experiment… And that experiment is in trouble.”

– Wendy Priesnitz

“The old system where every child who locked away and set into nonstop, daily cutthroat competition with every other child for silly prizes called grades is broken beyond repair. If it could be fixed it could have been fixed by now.”

– John Taylor Gatto

“Schools have not necessarily much to do with education… they are mainly institutions of control where certain basic habits must be inculcated in the young. Education is quite different and has little place in school.”

– Winston Churchill

“Much of education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants.”

― John W. Gardner

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

― Robert M. Hutchins

“In a word, learning is decontextualized. We break ideas down into tiny pieces that bear no relation to the whole. We give students a brick of information, followed by another brick, followed by another brick, until they are graduated, at which point we assume they have a house. What they have is a pile of bricks, and they don’t have it for long.”

― Alfie Kohn

“Most learning is not the result of instruction. It is rather the result of unhampered participation in a meaningful setting. Most people learn best by being “with it,” yet school makes them identify their personal, cognitive growth with elaborate planning and manipulation.”

― Ivan Illich

“Education: free and compulsory – what a way to learn logic!”

― Frank van Dun

“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

“Education, for most people, means trying to lead the child to resemble the typical adult of his society…But for me, education means making creators…You have to make inventors, innovators, not conformists.”

― Jean Piaget

“Artificial learning takes what is simple and natural and turns it into a complex array of objectives, goals, measurements, administrators, supervisors, counselors, and transportation experts. Natural education requires only a guide providing direction, and a learner ready to discover and create goals and values that are personally meaningful.”

― Linda Dobson

Classical Liberal Education:

“We should hunt out the helpful pieces of teaching and the spirited and noble-minded sayings which are capable of immediate practical application–not far far-fetched or archaic expressions or extravagant metaphors and figures of speech–and learn them so well that words become works.”

― Seneca

“The central virtue of a liberal education is that it teaches you how to write, and writing makes you think. Whatever you do in life, the ability to write clearly, cleanly, and reasonably quickly will prove to be an invaluable skill.”

― Fareed Zakaria

“Because of the times we live in, all of us, young and old, do not spend enough time and effort thinking about the meaning of life. We do not look inside ourselves enough to understand our strengths and weaknesses, and we do not look around enough – at the world, in history – to ask the deepest and broadest questions. The solution surely is that, even now, we could all use a little bit more of a liberal education.”

― Fareed Zakaria

“In a properly automated and educated world, then, machines may prove to be the true humanizing influence. It may be that machines will do the work that makes life possible and that human beings will do all the other things that make life pleasant and worthwhile ”

― Isaac Asimov,

“It could be said that a liberal education has the nature of a bequest, in that it looks upon the student as the potential heir of a cultural birthright, whereas a practical education has the nature of a commodity to be exchanged for position, status, wealth, etc., in the future. A liberal education rests on the assumption that nature and human nature do not change very much or very fast and that one therefore needs to understand the past. The practical educators assume that human society itself is the only significant context, that change is therefore fundamental, constant, and necessary, that the future will be wholly unlike the past, that the past is outmoded, irrelevant, and an encumbrance upon the future — the present being only a time for dividing past from future, for getting ready.

But these definitions, based on division and opposition, are too simple. It is easy, accepting the viewpoint of either side, to find fault with the other. But the wrong is on neither side; it is in their division…

Without the balance of historic value, practical education gives us that most absurd of standards: “relevance,” based upon the suppositional needs of a theoretical future. But liberal education, divorced from practicality, gives something no less absurd: the specialist professor of one or another of the liberal arts, the custodian of an inheritance he has learned much about, but nothing from.”

― Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America

“The liberal arts do not conduct the soul all the way to virtue, but merely set it going in that direction.”

― Seneca

“Practical utility, however, is not the ultimate purpose of a liberal arts education. Its ultimate purpose is to help you learn to reflect in the widest and deepest sense, beyond the requirements of work and career: for the sake of citizenship, for the sake of living well with others, above all, for the sake of building a self that is strong and creative and free.”

― William Deresiewicz, Excellent Sheep

 

Comfort Zone Quotes:

"You haven't failed, until you stop trying" ― Unknown

“Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one’s self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily.”

― Thomas Szasz

“Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism.”

― Dr. David M. Burns

” Always do what you are afraid to do.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Do or do not. There is no try.”

― Yoda

“Too much credit is given to the end result. The true lesson is in the struggle that takes place between the dream and reality. That struggle is a thing called life!”

― Garth Brooks

“Worry is misuse of the imagination. ”

― Mary Crowley

”Life can only be understood backwards but you have to live it forward. You can only do that by stepping into uncertainty and by trying, within this uncertainty, to create your own islands of security….The new security will be a belief that …if this doesn’t work out you could do something else. You are your own security.”

― Charles Handy

Have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut you in and the great ship, tense and anxious, groped her way toward the shore with plummet and sounding-line, and you waited with beating heart for something to happen? I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without compass or sounding line, and no way of knowing how near the harbour was. “Light! Give me light!” was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour.

― Helen Keller

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

― Helen Keller

 

21st Century Education Quotes:

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”

― Alvin Toffler

“Our rapidly moving, information-based society badly needs people who know how to find facts rather than memorize them, and who know how to cope with change in creative ways. You don’t learn those things in school.”

― Wendy Priesnitz

“Educators – like musicians, journalists, carmakers, and bankers before them – won’t know what hit them. But as sure as change is overtaking every other sector of society, it will overtake education – as well it should. Our cookie-cutter, one-pace-fits-all, test-focused system is not up to the task of teaching the creators of the new Googles.

Call me a utopian but I imagine a new educational ecology where students may take courses from anywhere and instructors may select any students, where courses are collaborative and public, where creativity is nurtured as Google nurtures it, where making mistakes well is valued over sameness and safety, where education continues long past age 21, where tests and degrees matter less than one’s own portfolio of work, where the gift economy may turn anyone with knowledge into teachers, where the skills of research and reasoning and skepticism are valued over the skills of memorization and calculation, and where universities teach an abundance of knowledge to those who want it rather than manage a scarcity of seats in a class.”

― Jeff Jarvis in Hacking Education

“I imagine a school system that recognizes learning is natural, that a love of learning is normal, and that real learning is passionate learning. A school curriculum that values questions above answers…creativity above fact regurgitation…individuality above conformity.. and excellence above standardized performance….. And we must reject all notions of ‘reform’ that serve up more of the same: more testing, more ‘standards’, more uniformity, more conformity, more bureaucracy.”

― Tom Peter, “Re-Imagine”

“‘The future is here. It’s just not widely distributed yet.”

― William Gibson

“The “real world” that parents worry unschooling kids won’t be able to cope with is not the “real world” of the future; it’s one designed to churn out obedient workers and consumers. But times – and the economy — are changing.”

― Wendy Priesnitz

 

Question Everything:

"Reward and punishment is the lowest form of education." ― Chuang Tzu

“Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself.”

― Vilfredo Pareto

“It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it.”

― Jacob Bronowski

“Believe nothing merely because you have been told it . . . or because it is tradition, or because you yourselves have imagined it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be conductive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings – that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.”

― Gautama Buddha

“Knowledge that is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.”

― Plato

​“Who questions much, shall learn much, and retain much.”

― Francis Bacon

“There is frequently more to be learned from the unexpected questions of a child than the discourses of men.”

― John Locke

“It is 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 wreak and ruin. 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.”

― Albert Einstein

 

Social Change:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.

―  Margaret Mead

“There is no neutral education. Education is either for domestication or for freedom.”

― Joao Coutinho

”Educating the masses was intended only to improve the relationship between the top and the bottom of society. Not for changing the nature of the relationship.”

― John Ralston Paul, “Voltaire’s Bastards”

“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.”

― Abraham Lincoln

“Since every effort in our educational life seems to be directed toward making of the child a being foreign to itself, it must of necessity produce individuals foreign to one another, and in everlasting antagonism with each other.”

― Emma Goldman

“Much that passes for education is not education at all but ritual. The fact is that we are being educated when we know it least.”

― David P. Gardner

“Education is a method whereby one acquires a higher grade of prejudices.”

― Laurence J. Peter

“The great end of education is to discipline rather than to furnish the mind; to train it to the use of its own powers rather than to fill it with the accumulation of others.”

― Tyron Edwards

“Out of the nursery into the college and back to the nursery; there’s your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries or more. School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies all about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?”

― Kurt Vonnegut

“The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools.”

– Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War

 

Children:

“Kids don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.” ― Jim Henson

“All I am saying can be summed up in two words: Trust Children. Nothing could be more simple, or more difficult. Difficult because to trust children we must first learn to trust ourselves, and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted.”

― John Holt

“It is among the commonplaces of education that we often first cut off the living root and then try to replace its natural functions by artificial means. Thus we suppress the child’s curiosity and then when he lacks a natural interest in learning he is offered special coaching for his scholastic difficulties.”

― Alice Miller

“Students get the message about what adults want. When 4th graders in a variety of classrooms were asked what their teachers most wanted them to do, they didn’t say, “Ask thoughtful questions” or “Make responsible decisions” or “Help others.” They said, “Be quiet, don’t fool around, and get our work done on time.”

― Alfie Kohn

“If we taught babies to talk as most skills are taught in school, they would memorize lists of sounds in a predetermined order and practice them alone in a closet.”

― Linda Darling-Hammond

“Because schools suffocate children’s hunger to learn, learning appears to be difficult and we assume that children must be externally motivated to do it. As a society, we must own up to the damage we do to our children…in our families and in our schools. We must also be willing to make the sweeping changes in our institutions, public policies and personal lives that are necessary to reverse that harm to our children and to our society.”

― Wendy Priesnitz

“I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built upon the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think. Whereas, if the child is left to himself, he will think more and better, if less showily. Let him go and come freely, let him touch real things and combine his impressions for himself, instead of sitting indoors at a little round table, while a sweet-voiced teacher suggests that he build a stone wall with his wooden blocks, or make a rainbow out of strips of coloured paper, or plant straw trees in bead flower-pots. Such teaching fills the mind with artificial associations that must be got rid of, before the child can develop independent ideas out of actual experience.”

― Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller’s Teacher

“It is among the commonplaces of education that we often first cut off the living root and then try to replace its natural functions by artificial means. Thus we suppress the child’s curiosity and then when he lacks a natural interest in learning he is offered special coaching for his scholastic difficulties.”

― Alice Duer Miller

“Children are born passionately eager to make as much sense as they can of things around them. If we attempt to control, manipulate, or divert this process… the independent scientist in the child disappears.”

― John Holt

“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.”

― Dr. Maria Montessori

“Kids who are in school just visit life sometimes and then they have to stop to do homework or go to sleep early or get to school on time. They’re constantly reminded they are preparing for real life. While being isolated from it.”

― Sandra Dodd

“What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.”

― George Bernard Shaw

“Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.”

― Rabindranath Tagore

“Again, the most effective (and least destructive) way to help a child succeed—whether she’s writing or skiing, playing a trumpet or a computer game—is to do everything possible to help her fall in love with what she’s doing, to pay less attention to how successful she was (or is likely to be) and show more interest in the task. That’s just another way of saying that we need to encourage more, judge less, and love always.”

― Alfie Kohn

“Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water bugs, tadpoles, frogs, mud turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb. Brooks to wade, water lilies, woodchucks, bats, bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hayfields, 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 education.”

― Luther Burbank

Modern Alienation:

“The condition of alienation, of being asleep, of being unconscious, of being out of one’s mind, is the condition of the normal man. Society highly values its normal man. It educates children to lose themselves and to become absurd, and thus to be normal.”

― R.D. Laing

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

― Krishnamurti

“The function of high school, then, is not so much to communicate knowledge as to oblige children finally to accept the grading system as a measure of their inner excellence. And a function of the self-destructive process in American children is to make them willing to accept not their own, but a variety of other standards, like a grading system, for measuring themselves. It is thus apparent that the way American culture is now integrated it would fall apart if it did not engender feelings of inferiority and worthlessness.”

― Jules Henry

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

― Albert Einstein

“Public education reflects our society’s paternalistic, hierarchical worldview, which exploits children in the same way it takes the earth’s resources for granted.”

― Wendy Priesnitz

“It doesn’t make much difference what you study, so long as you don’t like it.”

― Finley Peter Dunne

“Euripides long ago said, ‘who dares not speak his free thought is a slave.’ I nominated myself as an ‘infidel’ as a challenge to thought for those who are asleep.”

― Luther Burbank

Self-Education Quotes:

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.”

― Isaac Asimov

“If we value independence, if we are disturbed by the growing conformity of knowledge, of values, of attitudes, which our present system induces, then we may wish to set up conditions of learning which make for uniqueness, for self-direction, and for self-initiated learning.”

― Carl Rogers

“Actually, all education is self-education. A teacher is only a guide, to point out the way, and no school, no matter how excellent, can give you education. What you receive is like the outlines in a child’s coloring book. You must fill in the colors yourself.”

― Louis L’Amour

“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”

― Jim Rohn

“Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners.”

― John Holt

“Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardour and diligence.”

― Abigail Adams

“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember amateurs built the ark, but professionals built the Titanic.”

― Unknown

“Each man must look to himself to teach him the meaning of life. It is not something discovered. It is something molded.”

― Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardour and attended to with diligence.”

― Abigail Adams

“All things good to know are difficult to learn.”

― Greek Proverb

“Through the power of self-education you can be anything you want to be or do anything you want to do. Self-education power does not require money, fixed time or fixed life style. Options are extremely flexible. Rewards are unlimited. You can control your destiny.”

― Bob Webb

“Learning of the highest value extends well beyond measurable dimension. It can’t be fit into any curriculum or evaluated by any test. It is activated by experiences which develop our humanity. It teaches us to be our best selves.”

― Laura Grace Weldon

“The Hunter who chases two rabbits will catch neither.”

― Ancient Proverb

“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.”

― Joseph Brodsk

“When you replace “why is this happening to me” with “what is this trying to teach me?” Everything shifts.”

― Unknown

“A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether.”

― Roy H. Williams

“I am concerned that too many people are focused too much on money and not on their greatest wealth, which is their education. If people are prepared to be flexible, keep an open mind and learn, they will grow richer and richer through the changes. If they think money will solve the problems, I am afraid those people will have a rough ride. Intelligence solves problems and produces money. Money without financial intelligence is money soon gone.”

– Robert Kiyosaki

 

Any More Unconventional Learning Quotes to Add?

Have any favorite learning quotes that you’d like to add to the list? Feel free to add them in the comments.

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