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35 Thought Provoking Education Quotes

posted by admin on October 20th, 2008

Hope you enjoy reading this list as much as I did putting it together!

  1. It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~Aristotle
  2. Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils. ~Hector Berlioz
  3. An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field. ~Niels Bohr
  4. Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school. ~Albert Einstein
  5. What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child. ~George Bernard Shaw
  6. Learning is what most adults will do for a living in the 21st century. ~Perelman
  7. I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. ~Mark Twain
  8. Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune. ~Jim Rohn
  9. Education is that which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding. ~Ambrose Bierce
  10. In large states public education will always be mediocre, for the same reason that in large kitchens the cooking is usually bad. ~Friedrich Nietzsche
  11. The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change. ~Carl Rogers
  12. A liberally educated person meets new ideas with curiosity and fascination. An illiberally educated person meets new ideas with fear. ~James B. Stockdale
  13. A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary. ~Thomas Carruthers
  14. The authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to learn. ~Cicero
  15. Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself. ~Chinese Proverb
  16. I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think. ~Socrates
  17. Education would be so much more effective if its purpose were to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they don’t know, and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it. ~Sir William Haley
  18. In a completely rational society, the best of us would aspire to be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less, because passing civilization along from one generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and the highest responsibility anyone could have. ~Lee Iacocca
  19. The job of an educator is to teach students to see vitality in themselves. ~Joseph Campbell
  20. Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire. ~W. B. Yeats
  21. A professor can never better distinguish himself in his work than by encouraging a clever pupil, for the true discoverers are among them, as comets amongst the stars. ~Linnaeus
  22. Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous. ~Confucius
  23. The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence. He inspires self-trust. He guides their eyes from himself to the spirit that quickens him. He will have no disciple. ~Amos Bronson Alcott
  24. Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people may be engaged in. ~Abraham Lincoln
  25. Instruction begins when you, the teacher, learn from the learner; put yourself in his place so that you may understand… what he learns and the way he understands it. — Soren Kierkegaard
  26. The highest result of education is tolerance. — Helen Keller
  27. Nothing is ever achieved without enthusiasm. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  28. The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. — William Arthur Ward
  29. Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. — Gandhi
  30. I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me. — Dudley Field Malone
  31. How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book! The book exists for us, perchance, that will explain our miracles and reveal new ones. — Henry David Thoreau
  32. Genius without education is like silver in the mine. — Benjamin Franklin
  33. How is it that little children are so intelligent and men so stupid? It must be education that does it. — Alexander Dumas
  34. If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. — Abraham Maslow
  35. There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people. — Thomas Jefferson

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87 Responses to “35 Thought Provoking Education Quotes”

  1. Tre Says:

    #18 – if this were the case, all actors would be seen as crazy and football players would be useless…

  2. Dorius Says:

    Ralph Emerson isn’t quite right in this one (27). Have you ever been to a fast food restaurant?

  3. Caelum Says:

    Tre you’re right on the money.

  4. Joe Says:

    Tre: #18 applies to a rational world, with the implication that this is not one, the examples of actors and football players being relevant.

    Dorius: # 27 is correct: in a fast food restaurant something is done, nothing is achieved.

    Most likely those being quoted are, intentionally or unintentionally, making use of #16.

  5. he Thinks Says:


    Your point is…..?

  6. Hey Says:

    Tre: I think you missed the whole point of that.
    “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. — William Arthur Ward”
    Being a teacher is not all about knowing a lot, but being able to reach, motivate and inspire the other person (exactly what most teachers lack). An actor or football player could demonstrate a lot of things and inspire a lot of people, it depends on the person, not the title.

  7. jim Says:

    On Ghandy, 29
    Learn as if you were to live forever.
    There is some curious transcendence implied: one attracting the other.
    (Not having to do with the body though.)

  8. Steve Says:

    The 7th is something I wish everybody becomes able to understand it. We should keep our selves going if we really wish to acquire the true education. Schooling and education are two different things.


  9. 35 Thought Provoking Education Quotes | Ace Online Schools | Matt Castille Says:

    […] 35 Thought Provoking Education Quotes | Ace Online Schools] Category : […]

  10. Caleb Says:

    The actor and the football player can be considered teachers. We are teaching each other things all the time.

  11. no one important Says:

    ha ha! #18 IS true then

  12. Eric M. Gendell Says:

    Brilliant!!! Great, valuable and timeless quotes by an excellent selection of geniuses.

    Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils. ~Hector Berlioz
    Is one of the funniest quotes I have ever read.

    Is the person who posted this self educated?

  13. edu Says:

    i like how tre says, “if this were the case, all actors would be seen as crazy and football players would be useless…” and pretty much proves that #9 is right on the money.

    the irony is tre is too dumb to realize how right he is about what he just said :D

  14. Bill Vincent Says:

    To most of the posters, as stated, you must read, and comprehend, #16.

  15. murat0203 Says:



    #26 just what u.s.a. needs most.

  17. Bear Says:

    If many school board members read this, they would be in a state of confusion for the rest of their terms.

  18. Phil E. Drifter Says:

    Here’s one, I don’t know where I picked it up but it rings of truth:

    A college degree doesn’t make you smart, it makes you educated.

  19. Aristotle would be pissed at us for being so stupid, common sense. Says:

    Actors ARE actually crazy and football players ARE useless. Both only exist for entertainment purposes. Both strive with intentions that are based around themselves alone. Im not doubting they inspire people, but only a handful have true passion to follow such roads, everybody else is just accepting false values. It seems that most of said people lack compassion for humanity as well as the well being for this planet they so arrogantly live on. But thats nothing new right, its the unsaid american way, to care only about yourself. The people who live like that, as if the world was made for them, truly have NO self worth. We need to see life in every aspect as a two way street now and never take it for granet or one day we will lose it all, going down without a fight but securing a prideless and shameful demise for our species . And if you think im talking out my ass and decided already that I dont know what im talking, you always have football.

  20. Tre Says:

    I think some people (Hey, Caleb, edu) missed the point of what I was saying. I believe Lacocca’s message was that in a rational society, education and knowledge would be the highest pursuits, so those who pass it on to younger generations as teachers (by trade) would be the most respected members of society. The truth of that statement demonstrates how backwards our current values are, where the most respected members of society are entertainers (i.e. actors and football players), while teachers are often barely scraping by and public schools are like ruined labor camps. Why is our culture like this? Who knows. It’s true that anyone can teach or inspire others, but if our society were completely rational in the way Lacocca describes, entertainers would not be the ones to do it.

  21. carrwin Says:

    entertainers and sportsmen have existed since the very fist human being got bored. It is this superficial society thats numb and only excited by the muscular and beautiful thats degrading the honor it is to be a and educator and inspiration in other fields. man, mathematician aint geeks, and designers aint a bunch of loophole looneys. Its really funny that we think the best lines are spoken by an actor whereas it was just a mimicry of the real thing.

  22. pipio Says:

    Great quotes, thanks!

  23. Jeremy Says:

    Many of the quotations included in this list are spurious, that is they have been credited to people who did not actually say or write those words. For example, the quotations from Gandhi and Socrates are spurious. It is a basic obligation of scholarship to credit quotations to their actual source. Thus this website is an embarrassment, not an inspiration.

  24. scott Says:


  25. Says:

    35 Thought Provoking Education Quotes | Ace Online Schools…

    Hope you enjoy reading this list as much as I did putting it together!…

  26. Patricia Says:

    Brilliant – I am training as a Psychologist and I may be able to use some of these
    Notably the quote from Abraham Maslow
    Thank you for these

  27. Joe Says:

    @Jeremy: I Googled the quotations from Ghandi and Socrates. Apparently several people are posting these spurious quotes. I guess the internet is truly a bad source for information.

  28. Grant Says:

    Jeremy… you seem to be representing the “schooling” side rather than the “education” side Mark Twain [definitely, I might add] discussed.

    Which is more important; the dissemination of potentially unsourced ideas, or following rules imposed by “scholars?”

  29. Grant Says:

    Furthermore, I think the word you’re looking for is “apocryphal…” spurious implies that these attributed sayings have been proven false, which is obviously inaccurate, since they wouldn’t be *attributed* in that case.

    I mean, can anybody definitely prove if Socrates said or did not say one thing or another?

  30. coxnews Says:

    comment in iraq

  31. vietvet52 Says:

    ever quote i read i came away with something new,…

  32. shadowcali Says:

    In regard to Tre’s second posting, I completely understand where you are coming from and think it is truly pathetic that the “entertainers” of our society are admired more by much of the public. Sadly, our universities which should be battling this mind set, are actually encouraging it by offering thousands upon thousands of dollars in scholarships to people who have no real interest or desire for knowledge or education (most college football/ basketball players). It infuriates me sometimes that this still goes on& the boards justify it by boasting about the amount of money these programs supposedly bring to the schools. Meanwhile… arts programs still get cut& gifted poor kids who can’t play basketball find it difficult to get college funds- let alone a free ride. Yeah- America!!! Ugh.

  33. Old Hickory Says:

    um.. can someone enlighten me as to how # 35 pertains to education?

  34. Through the Filter 11/16/2008 | WebedtecH Says:

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  35. W. Pincus Jaspert Says:

    Education opened my mind, and it continues to teach & understand.

    I like many of the quotes.

  36. Tholaris Says:

    Damn you, Scott! I was going to call “photoshopped” but you beat me to it :-P

  37. Dreams Says:

    Haha, these quotes are both thought provoking and funny.

  38. Nahum Says:

    Very thought provoking, great quotes from some of the best minds our planet has seen. Each seems to ring a truth from the lives they lived and the work they did. Its interesting see a convergence of thought from philosophers, politicians, artists and scientists. They all seem to have been very well educated and smart as well.

  39. nick Says:

    fantastic quotes. Tre… your musings elicit pure and unadulterated truth. Before our world can truly advance, our societies must shed the preconceptions of fame and fortune that have been embedded in the minds of the young, and expose the true otiose nature of fame and fortune.

  40. Jon Says:

    “Tre Says:
    October 20th, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    #18 – if this were the case, all actors would be seen as crazy and football players would be useless…”

    football players are useless…as are actors. they pass our time, they don’t make us better.

  41. Mattress Says:

    I love these quotes. They are from the most intelligent people to ever exist. What more could you ever ask for! I especially love # 16, Socrates was a genius. I wish I could have known him.

  42. perry Says:

    and another great one, from my friend Richard, frequently drunk and not universally recognised as one of the great thinkers:
    Some people will believe anything as long as it doesn’t have a scientific basis’

  43. Famous Quotes Says:

    These are some really cool stuff. I just love doing it.

  44. ma de los angeles molina rodriguez Says:

    hola como estan espero que bien y cuidanse mucho saludes bye

  45. Stuart Kurtz Says:

    Check out quotes by Thomas Huxley, such as:

    The improver of natural knowledge refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, skepticism is the highest of duties, blind faith the one unpardonable sin.

    On the adviseableness of improving natural knowledge, 1866

  46. Tailgunner Joe Says:

    ” Just cause The Man kicked you out of college , doesn’t mean you can’t get your learn on! Go get yourself some of that History Channel.”

  47. bigrabbifish Says:

    #5 George Bernard Shaw on the money as always. He had a great way of turning phrases around to make a point. It’s all too common nowadays for knowledge to go in pursuit of children rather than the other way around

  48. Lorin Says:

    Wonderful, thanks!

  49. ryan Says:

    Awesome quotes.
    I make it a habit to watch discovery and History channel as often as I can. I also read a lot, and enmesh myself in music at every opportunity.

  50. Robert Says:

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

  51. Angry Says:

    Well football players ARE USELESS ….. even in our irrational world …. @#$%

  52. Frenchie Says:

    Old Hickory the 35th quote

    “There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people. — Thomas Jefferson”

    Is talking about the way education is gone about. Suggesting that formal education and teaching in large classrooms is a really bad way of educating people as they are all different and they all need specific input in order to develop.

    You can not teach a genius and an idiot the same things because it would just not work.

    We need to change the educational system to deal with many of the problems that are raised by these quotes.

  53. Rinoralph Says:

    They are enjoyable!

  54. Joe Says:

    Umm… Can i just point out to all the people who replied @Tre’s comment…
    I’ll admit, football players ARE useless
    But actors can pass on things like myths & legends from one generation to the next, just as much as teachers. They would have just as much a place in that rational world :P

  55. Taisha Brubaker Says:

    Isn’t this a repost of an older story?

  56. Stella Knerr Says:

    great theme – did you make it or can I download it somewhere?

  57. Marjory Hiett Says:

    Hmm, some of your images aren’t showing up.. are you hotlinking?

  58. aldo Says:

    I do not understand why actors are useless in the rational world, If education or knowledge is absolute I would agree, i find a rather modest way to say that for a child an actor resembles his actions on the screen, not our so called “unveil” of reality of what he represents in real life, for example if we suppose that Sean Penn, Brad Pitt or any other actor has a great movie suppose we find ourselves in the struggle between what he interprets, and what he represents, which of those actions is truth? Supposing that Brad Pitt is a pedophile in his real life, do his movie will have less value, or an american football player, does necessesarilly has to be put in a rational scheme? Of what concept? Of what ideology? If so then I would say Academia as cartesian subject of knowledge would discard any other form of education in a fascist way.

  59. aldo Says:

    Some people will believe anything as long as it doesn’t have a scientific basis’. That’s one of the best ones

  60. Purple Iris Training Says:

    Great collection. These are great for motivating both teachers and students. Going to use them everywhere in our training institute as also on the website. Thanks!

  61. Deejay Says:

    Teachers need to stop forcing their teaching, and start making pupils think.


  62. AM Says:


    I too agree with others that in this case too much attention to the scholar “form” of this post, which may be inaccurate by quoting apocryphally; is out of relevance. Because the meaning of all the quotes themselves is rather interesting and thought provoking.

    When I read all the quotes I did notice their alleged quoter, but nevertheless I didn’t mind at all. What remained in my mind was really if they are accurate in today’s world of not; or if they can be actually converted into actionable steps towards a better society.


  63. Langwitches » links for 2009-06-24 Says:

    […] 35 Education Quotes | Learning is what most adults will do for a living in the 21st century. ~Perelman (tags: education quotes) […]

  64. Dharam Paul Says:

    Education is the real life to injoy everything in this world, becouse you will never get the knowledge withoit Education

  65. sandeep gori Says:

    thecher r those u give but the student r those who take

  66. Josie Says:

    Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire. – Where did Yeats say or write that?

  67. Richard P. Says:

    Nietsche and Bierce, a couple of angry head cases. Most of the rest fine. Identify Perelman (S. J.)

  68. Geri Shea Says:

    Many of the quotations are thought provoking but the people who are commenting should remember this one from the former New York governor, Herbert H. Lehman, “I must respect the opinions of others even if I disagree with them.” Some people’s comments lead me to wonder about their levels of education. I learned some great lessons about respect and acceptance from my teachers when I was growing up and try as I might, I don’t understand rude behavior. I really would like to understand why people feel the need to insult people’s opinions or points of view. One person’s opinion is just as valid as anyone else’s opinion. I try to teach that to my fourth graders everyday. Apparently, children are not the only ones who need to have that lesson taught.

  69. Zak Says:

    In response to the the first post Tre you are completely right in that actors are crazy (to think that they are worth what modern society pays them) and ball players are useless to the development of a better world!

  70. IF – by Rudyard Kipling Says:

    IF – by Rudyard Kipling…

    Seriously though, one of my favorite inspirational stories and thank you so very much for putting it up here- it’ s very nice to be reminded again of how enriched our lives really are….

  71. Mason Bassett Says:

    I would have done better in school if only the person next to me had applied him/her self

  72. matt Says:

    i like #33 bcuz it really defines te education system in this country cuz its the only one i’ve experienced and the overall truth that almost everything around us is just bringing s to a lower vibrational rate of existence

  73. Electronic Cigarettes Says:

    I’m a college student and today in English we were talking about how the most rebelious of all people are college students. So I would have to agree with Helen Keller who said the highest result of education is tolerance. It’s amazing how an education opens your mind to every thing around you.

  74. Mike Jones Says:

    Hey guys try this quote site out, it have every possible quote you can imagine. 1.5 million to be exact haha, bit overkill but gets the job done.

  75. Kürbissuppe Says:

    Have you thought about to adding some variety of social bookmark link to your blog? It will be smoother for me to save such a great weblog.

  76. Kratigarg Says:

    teacher is just like a god to us she teaches us everything n pray that his student will be get success.his or her aim is that her student is beyond on the top ……..:))))

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  81. Ojensasoni66 Says:

    very good and cool

  82. jarc1 Says:

    Can anyone explain #35?

  83. Subhodeep Mondal Says:

    These Quotes didn’t helped me to learn anything because these quotes are written in very irritating manner. 

  84. Homework Help Says:

    Well quote #35 by Thomas Jefferson states that everyone is different and hence have to be treated differently as well.
    And Here’s a similar quote by Albert Einstein “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”  

  85. lavi Says:

    Its awsome

  86. ruchi Says:

    so nice

  87. priscilla Says:

    Great thoughts! so inspiring!

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