It doesn’t matter if you’re a student or a teacher, the educational process can sometimes be an uphill battle. It’s important to find things that will keep you motivated, inspired and striving to do more. Numerous writers, politicians and thinkers have shared their feelings on education, learning, and teaching, and looking to their writing is a great place to start finding the inspiration you need. Here are 75 quotes on education that will help you to remember just why it is you do what you do.
Inspiration and Motivation
These quotes will help inspire you to do more, learn better and help those around you to achieve.
1. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of becoming.
2. Helen Keller: Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement, nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
3. Jean Jacques Rosseau: We should not teach children the sciences but give them a taste for them.
4. Abraham Maslow: If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
5. Dr. David M. Burns: 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.
6. Bill Vaughan: People learn something every day, and a lot of times it’s that what they learned the day before was wrong.
7. Claus Moser: Education costs money, but then so does ignorance.
8. Victor Hugo: He who opens a school door, closes a prison.
9. Erich Fromm: Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age?
10. Vilfredo Pareto: Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself.
11. Jacob Bronowski: 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.
12. Martin H. Fischer: All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind.
13. Mary Kay Ash: 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.
14. Antoine de Saint-Exupery: Each man must look to himself to teach him the meaning of life. It is not something discovered. It is something molded.
15. Margaret Mead: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
These quotes are ideal for motivating teachers to keep offering students their best day after day.
16. Nikos Kazantzakis: Ideal teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross, then having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their own.
17. Richard Bach: Learning is finding out what we already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, and teachers.
18. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: 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.
19. Frank Smith: Thought flows in terms of stories — stories about events, stories about people, and stories about intentions and achievements. The best teachers are the best storytellers. We learn in the form of stories.
20. Marva Collins: Once children learn how to learn, nothing is going to narrow their mind. The essence of teaching is to make learning contagious, to have one idea spark another.
21. Horace Mann: A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.
22. Carol Buchner: They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel.
23. Buddhist Proverb: If a seed of a lettuce will not grow, we do not blame the lettuce. Instead, the fault lies with us for not having nourished the seed properly.
24. Josef Albers: Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers.
25. Confucius: Every truth has four corners: as a teacher I give you one corner, and it is for you to find the other three.
26. Kahlil Gibran: The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.
27. Henry B. Adams: A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.
28. Mark Twain: 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.
29. Plato: Do not train children to 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.
30. Eliphas Levi: A good teacher must be able to put himself in the place of those who find learning hard.
31. Maria Montessori: The greatest sign of a success for a teacher…is to be able to say, “The children are now working as if I did not exist.”
32. Rachel Carson: If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, the excitement, and the mystery of the world we live in.
33. Albert Einstein: It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
34. Benjamin Franklin: Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
The learning process is different for each individual. Hear these great thinkers muse on what learning means to them in these inspirational quotes.
35. Frances Willard: 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.
36. Plutarch: The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be ignited.
37. B.B.King: The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.
38. George Iles: Whoever ceases to be a student has never been a student.
39. Euripides: Whoso neglects learning in his youth, loses the past and is dead for the future.
40. Chinese Proverb: Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.
41. Abigail Adams: Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.
42. Leonardo Da Vinci: Learning never exhausts the mind.
43. Confucius: Learning without thought is a labor lost, thought without learning is perilous.
44. Denis Waitley: 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.
45. Greek Proverb: All things good to know are difficult to learn.
46. Lloyd Alexander: We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.
47. Henry Ford: 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.
48. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.: Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.
49. Ray LeBlond: You learn something every day if you pay attention.
50. Thomas Huxley: 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.
51. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.: There are many things which we can afford to forget which it is yet well to learn.
52. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.: Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before.
53. H.G. Wells: You have learned something. That always feels at first as if you had lost something.
54. Thomas Szasz: 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.
55. Bill Vaughan: People learn something every day, and a lot of times it’s that what they learned the day before was wrong.
In these quotes, you’ll hear everyone from presidents to business moguls muse on the importance of education.
56. Tyron Edwards: 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.
57. John F. Kennedy: Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength of the nation.
58. Malcolm S. Forbes: Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.
59. Thomas Jefferson: Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of both mind and body will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.
60. Aristotle: Education is the best provision for old age.
61. Abraham Lincoln: 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.
62. Helen Keller: 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 harbor was. “Light! Give me light!” was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour.
63. Jim Rohn: If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up. What he needs is education to turn him around.
64. Henry Peter Brougham: Education makes a people easy to lead but difficult to drive: easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.
65. T.S. Eliot: 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 time.
66. William Haley: 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.
67. Will Durant: Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.
68. Robert Frost: Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.
69. George Washington Carver: Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.
70. B. F. Skinner: Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.
71. Aristotle: The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.
72. Sydney J. Harris: The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.
73. Franklin D. Roosevelt: The school is the last expenditure upon which America should be willing to economize.
74. G.K. Chesterton: Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.
75. Ernest Dimnet: Children have to be educated, but they have also to be left to educate themselves.