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Better untaught than ill-taught.

GRENVILLE KLEISER, Dictionary of Proverbs

Those who exert the first influence upon the mind, have the greatest power.


A people uneducated is like an iron mountain whose ore is unwrought.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.

G. K. CHESTERTON, Collected Works of G. K. CHESTERTON

Though men be endowed with beauty and youth, and be born in a noble family, yet without education, they are like a palas tree, which is void of any sweet smell.

CHANAKYA, Vridda-Chanakya

In the march of universal improvement, education must lead the van.


Education is in no small measure preparing the way for the intellectual life and pointing to it. Those who cannot enter in at its gates are doomed, in Leonardo da Vinci's words, to "possess neither the profit nor the beauty of the world." For them life must be short, however many its years, and barren, however plentiful its acts. Their ears are deaf to the call of the indwelling Reason, and their eyes are blind to all the meaning and the values of human experience.

NICHOLAS MURRAY BUTLER, lecture at Columbia University, Mar. 4, 1908

Education is only a ladder to gather fruit from the tree of knowledge, not the fruit itself.

AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

As an apple is not in any proper sense an apple until it is ripe, so a human being is not in any proper sense a human being until he is educated.


It is doubtful whether our present system of popular education does not retard independent or self thinking as much as it promotes it. All genuine education is self-education. It will incite the individual to think for himself, by rethinking what the race's great thinkers have already thought for him, thus enabling him to go ahead under his own mental steam.


If ever there was a cause, if ever there can be a cause, worthy to be upheld by all of toil or sacrifice that the human heart can endure, it is the cause of Education. It has intrinsic and indestructible merits. It holds the welfare of mankind in its embrace, as the protecting arms of a mother hold her infant to her bosom. The very ignorance and selfishness which obstructs its path are the strongest arguments for its promotion, for it furnishes the only adequate means for their removal.


A man is a great bundle of tools. He is born into this life without the knowledge of how to use them. Education is the process of learning their use.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

We are dealing with the best-educated generation in history. They are a hundred times better educated than their grandparents, and ten times more sophisticated. There has never been such an open-minded group. The problem is that no one is giving them anything fresh. They've got a brain dressed up with nowhere to go.

TIMOTHY LEARY, Rolling Stone, Twentieth Anniversary Issue (1987)

Education makes some men wiser, others more ridiculous and foolish!

NORMAN MACDONALD, Maxims and Moral Reflections

Laws for the liberal education of youth, especially of the lower class of people, are so extremely wise and useful, that, to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant.

JOHN ADAMS, Thoughts on Government

As education becomes inclusive, introspective, cosmic, promoting whole populations to power and privilege, it enthrones a vast, invisible, personal rule over the common mind.


There is not a good work which the hand of man has ever undertaken, which his heart has ever conceived, which does not require a good education for its helper.


All you have to do to educate a child is leave him alone and teach him to read. The rest is brainwashing.

ELLEN GILCHRIST, Falling Through Space

Apart from any other basis which might justify a superiority, education, as a power, raised him who possessed it over the weak, who lacked it, and the educated man counted in his circle, however large or small it was, as the mighty, the powerful, the imposing one: for he was an authority.

MAX STIRNER, The False Principle of Our Education

Michele Bachmann said that if she is elected president, she would consider eliminating the Department of Education because “the states could do a gooder job.”

JAY LENO, The Tonight Show, Sep. 7, 2011

As we educate a child -- removing out of its path those obstacles over which we ourselves, in early days, have stumbled, and strengthening its mind with the aid of our own matured experience -- we, as it were, construct a new and better replica of ourselves, and thus enable the race to move slowly, but surely, forward towards the ultimate goal of existence -- towards perfection.


A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.

GEORGE SANTAYANA, Atoms of Thought

True men are not supplied by school; if they are nevertheless there, they are there in spite of school.

MAX STIRNER, The False Principle of Our Education

Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.

MARK TWAIN, attributed, The Mammoth Book of Zingers, Quips, and One-Liners

As a father should provide for the religious education of his children, so should a government for the instruction of its subjects.

CATHERINE SINCLAIR, Modern Accomplishments; The March of the Intellect

The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.

PLUTARCH, Plutarch's Lives

Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army. If we retrench the wages of the schoolmaster, we must raise those of the recruiting sergeant.

EDWARD EVERETT, Public Documents of Massachusetts, 1868

The real object of education is to give children resources that will endure as long as life endures.

SYDNEY SMITH, Essays Social and Political

It depends on education--that holder of the keys which the Almighty hath put into our hands--to open the gates which lead to virtue or to vice, to happiness or misery.

PHILIP SIDNEY, Aphorisms of Sir Philip Sidney

Education is one of those subjects which, from their very nature, do not admit of a very close approach to demonstrative argument. Neither from history, nor from our knowledge of nature and of the human soul, nor from the study of the details of experience in the past, can we construct a science--strictly speaking--of education. Pedagogics will probably never hold a place among the exact sciences. We may, however, form comprehensive and defensible opinions on this subject; and these opinions will be the more entitled to respect and acceptance, as the mind holding them is itself genial and truly liberal, and is also acquainted with the truths of history, of nature, and especially of the human soul.

GEORGE TRUMBULL LADD, Essays on the Higher Education

Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.


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