The aim of education is the
knowledge not of fact,
but of values.

William R. Inge


An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know.  It’s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t.

Anatole France


Education is more than schooling.  It is a cast of mind, a willingness to see the world with an endless sense of curiosity and wonder.
   If you would be truly educated, you must adopt this cast of mind.  You must open yourself to the richness of your everyday experience--to your own emotions, to the movements of the heavens and the languages of birds, to the privations and successes of people in other lands and other times, to the artistry in the hands of the mechanic and the typist and the child.  There is no limit to the learning that appears before us.  It is enough to fill us each day a thousand times over.

Kent Nerburn

A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.

George Santayana

I've come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom.  It's my daily mood that makes the weather.  As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous.  I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.  I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.  In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized.

Haim Ginott


Theories and goals of education don't matter a whit
if you don't consider your students to be human beings.

Lou Ann Walker


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No one who worships education has got the best out of
education. . . . Without a gentle contempt for education
no person's education is complete.

G.K. Chesterton


Real education must ultimately be limited to people
who insist on knowing; the rest is mere sheep-herding.

Ezra Pound


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

Robert Frost


Intelligence plus character-- that is the goal of true education.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The word education comes from the Latin word educare, which means "to draw out."  We do not teach our children the love of learning.  We do not hold knowledge before them as a powerful tool for personal development.  We don't produce broadly educated, well-rounded leaders for tomorrow.  We teach more and more about less and less.  We don't draw out the individual.  We impose upon the individual--systems and structures.  We don't reverence individuality, we don't treasure it, we stifle it and try to stamp it out.  We don't educate, we formulate.  We abandon the individual in his or her own need and uniqueness and "impose" the same upon all.

We provide an education in specialization.  We produce clones for the modern world.  We throw people into a mold, which we call an education system, to form cogs for the global economic wheel, all the time dangling the golden carrot before them as incentive and reason.

Truth be told, our modern education systems crush the very spirit they claim to instill.

Matthew Kelly
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 Kubrick

An educated person is one who has learned that information
almost always turns out to be at best incomplete and very often
false, misleading, fictitious, mendacious--just dead wrong.

R. Baker


Education is no longer thought of as a preparation for adult life, but as
a continuing process of growth and development from birth until death.

Stephen Mitchell


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

Robert Maynard Hutchins

My idea of education is to unsettle the minds of the young and inflame their intellects.

Robert Maynard Hutchins

Education is a progressive discovery
of our own ignorance.

Will Durant

Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer--into a selflessness which links us with all humanity.

Nancy Astor

To me education is a leading out of what is already there in the pupil's
soul.  To Miss Mackay it is a putting in of something that is not there,
and that is not what I call education.  I call it intrusion.

Muriel Spark


Children have to be educated, but they have also to be left to educate themselves.

Abbé Dimnet


The modern world belongs to the half-educated, a rather difficult class,
because they do not realize how little they know.

William R. Inge

Much 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


I want to mention briefly some of the educational methods used today
which in effect further discourage original thinking.  One is the emphasis
on knowledge of facts, or I should rather say on information.  The pathetic
superstition prevails that by knowing more and more facts one arrives at
knowledge of reality.  Hundreds of scattered and unrelated facts are dumped
into the heads of students; their time and energy are taken up by learning
more and more facts so that there is little left for thinking.  To be sure, thinking
without a knowledge of facts remains empty and fictitious; but “information”
alone can be just as much of an obstacle to thinking as the lack of it.

Erich Fromm
Escape from Freedom


There is only one Education, and it has only one goal:  the freedom of the mind.  Anything that needs an adjective, be it civics education, or socialist education, or Christian education, or whatever-you-like education, is not education, and it has some different goal.  The very existence of modified "educations" is testimony to the fact that their proponents cannot bring about what they want in a mind that is free.  An "education" that cannot do its work in a free mind, and so must "teach" by homily and precept in the service of these feelings and attitudes and beliefs rather than those, is pure and unmistakable tyranny.

Richard Mitchell


Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.

Roger Lewin


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I think everyone should go to college and get a degree and then spend
six months as a bartender and six months as a cabdriver.
Then they would really be educated.

Al McGuire

It is, in fact, 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 wrack and ruin without fail.

Albert Einstein



To accuse others for one's own misfortunes is a sign of want
of education.  To accuse oneself shows that one's education
has begun.  To accuse neither oneself nor others
shows that one's education is complete.



We are students of words: we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and
recitation-rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag
of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


If you sincerely desire a truly well-rounded education, you must study
the extremists, the obscure and "nutty."  You need the balance!  Your poor
brain is already being impregnated with middle-of-the-road crap, twenty-four
hours a day, no matter what.  Network TV, newspapers, radio, magazines
at the supermarket... even if you never watch, read, listen, or leave your
house, even if you are deaf and blind, the telepathic pressure alone
of the uncountable normals surrounding you will insure that you are
automatically well-grounded in consensus reality.

Ivan Stang


I do not much believe in education.  Each person ought to be his or her
own model, however frightful that may be.

Albert Einstein

Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned.

Mark Twain


Education is the instruction of the intellect in the laws of Nature, under
which name I include not merely things and their forces, but people
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.

Thomas Henry Huxley


Education tends to be diagrammatic and categorical, opening up
no sluices in the human imagination on the wonder of the beauty
of our unique estate in the cosmos.  Little wonder that it becomes
so easy for our young to regard human hurt casually or to be
uninspired by the magic of sensitivity.

Norman Cousins


Our "life education" has not necessarily taught us a satisfying way
to live.  We suffer from a vague sense that there must be something
more, some deeper meaning.  We must return to kindergarten and
start to learn a way of life that is contrary to the way we approached
things before--a way of life based on trust of our own inner truth.  We
can rediscover the child-like innocence and wisdom
that knows that anything is possible.

Shakti Gawain

We've bought into the idea that education is about training and "success,"
defined monetarily, rather than learning to think critically and challenge.  We
should not forget that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not
careers.  A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality
and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom,  which fails
to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its
speed or ability to consume, condemns itself to death.

Chris Hedges

It has always seemed strange to me that in our endless discussions
about education so little stress is laid on the pleasure of becoming
an educated person, the enormous interest it adds to life.  To be able
to be caught up into the world of thought--that is to be educated.

Edith Hamilton


In classical understanding, education is the attempt to "lead out"
from within the self a core of wisdom that has the power to resist
falsehood and live in the light of truth, not by external norms but
by reasoned and reflective self-determination.  The inward teacher
is the living core of our lives that is addressed and evoked
by any education worthy of the name.

Parker J. Palmer
The Courage to Teach


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The most erroneous assumption is to the effect that the aim of public
education is to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken
their intelligence, and so make them fit to discharge the duties of citizenship
in an enlightened and independent manner.  Nothing could be further from
the truth.  The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all;
it 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, whatever the pretensions of politicians,
pedagogues and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else.

H.L. Mencken

The greatness of the human personality begins at the hour of birth.  From
this almost mystic affirmation there comes what may seem a
strange conclusion:  that education must start from birth.

Maria Montessori


As far as the education of children is concerned I think they should be taught
not the little virtues but the great ones.  Not thrift but generosity and an indifference
to money; not caution but courage and a contempt for danger; not shrewdness
but frankness and a love of truth; not tact but love for one’s neighbor and
self-denial; not a desire for success but a desire to be and to know.

Natalia Ginzburg



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Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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