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It is a great art in the education of youth to find out peculiar aptitudes, or, where none exist, to create inclinations which may serve as substitutes. Different minds are like different soils: some are suited only to particular cultivation; others will mature almost anything; others, again, are best adapted to a round of ordinary products; and a few are wasted, unless they are reserved for what is most choice.


Try not to have a good time ... this is supposed to be educational.

CHARLES M. SCHULZ, There's No Time for Love, Charlie Brown

As farmers believe it most advantageous to sow in mist, so the first seeds of education should fall in the first and thickest most of life.

JEAN PAUL F. RICHTER, Levana; or, The Doctrine of Education

How can man be intelligent, happy, or useful, without the culture and discipline of education? It is this that smooths and polishes the roughnesses of his nature. It is this that unlocks the prison-house of his mind, and releases the captive.

HERMAN HUMPHREY, an address delivered at the Collegiate Institution in Amherst, MS, Oct. 15, 1823

I consider that it is on instruction and education, that the future security and direction of the destiny of every nation chiefly and fundamentally rests.

LAJOS KOSSUTH, The Future of Nations

To develop in each individual all the perfection of which he is susceptible, is the object of education.

IMMANUEL KANT, attributed, American Education: Its Principles and Elements

Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.

C. S. LEWIS, attributed, Christianity & Culture

The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think.

ALBERT EINSTEIN, New York Times, May 18, 1921

Where education has been entirely neglected, or improperly managed, we see the worst passions ruling with uncontrolled and incessant sway.

SAMUEL PARR, Aphorisms, Opinions, and Reflections of the Late Dr. Parr

If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.

FRANK ZAPPA, attributed, College Is for Suckers

Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farmworkers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.

NELSON MANDELA, Long Walk to Freedom

The longer our graduation lines are today, the shorter our unemployment lines will be tomorrow.

GEORGE H. W. BUSH, address to joint session of Congress, Feb. 9, 1989

Classical education has deformed everything, and has imposed upon us as geniuses men of correct, facile talent, who follow the beaten track.

ÉMILE ZOLA, The Masterpiece

Certainly the prolonged education indispensable to the progress of Society is not natural to mankind. It cuts against the grain. A boy would like to follow his father in pursuit of food or prey. He would like to be doing serviceable things so far as his utmost strength allowed. He would like to be earning wages however small to help to keep up the home. He would like to have some leisure of his own to use or misuse as he pleased. He would ask little more than the right to work or starve. And then perhaps in the evenings a real love of learning would come to those who are worthy – and why try to stuff in those who are not? – and knowledge and thought would open the ‘magic casements’ of the mind.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, My Early Life: A Roving Commission

Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.

HENRY ADAMS, The Education of Henry Adams

The most necessary task of civilization is to teach people how to think. It should be the primary purpose of our public schools. The mind of a child is naturally active, it develops through exercise. Give a child plenty of exercise, for body and brain. The trouble with our way of educating is that it does not give elasticity to the mind. It casts the brain into a mold. It insists that the child must accept. It does not encourage original thought or reasoning, and it lays more stress on memory than observation.

THOMAS EDISON, attributed, A History of US: Reconstructing America: 1865-1890

The chief wonder of education is that it does not ruin everybody concerned in it, teachers and taught.

HENRY ADAMS, The Education of Henry Adams

One of the best ways of enslaving a people is to keep them from education.


Education is the one investment that means more for our future because it means the most for our children. Real improvement in our schools is not simply a matter of spending more: It's a matter of asking more—expecting more—of our schools, our teachers, of our kids, of our parents, and ourselves.

GEORGE H. W. BUSH, State of the Union Address, Jan. 31, 1990

All State education is a sort of dynamo machine for polarizing the popular mind; for turning and holding its lines of force in the direction supposed to be most effective for State purposes.

HENRY ADAMS, The Education of Henry Adams

Education is being redefined at the demand of the uneducated to suit the ideas of the uneducated. The student now goes to college to proclaim, rather than to learn.

SPIRO AGNEW, speech in Houston, Texas, May 22, 1970

Education should try to lessen the obstacles, diminish the friction, invigorate the energy, and should train minds to react, not at haphazard, but by choice, on the lines of force that attract their world. What one knows is, in youth, of little moment; they know enough who know how to learn.

HENRY ADAMS, The Education of Henry Adams

Education is so much of an organic unity that, if any of the stages or elements of it be defective, the deficiency is felt throughout all the subsequent growth of the organism.

GEORGE TRUMBULL LADD, Essays on the Higher Education

I say that our system of tests and grades, as it now exists, is one source of the low yield of great men from our universities. The marking system is a traumatic experience from which most students emerge with a deep determination never to get into a situation where they can be marked again. They just won't ever again take a chance.

EDWIN H. LAND, address at MIT, "Generation of Greatness: The Idea of a University in an Age of Science", May 22, 1957

Getting an education by itself, of course, does not guarantee financial success. There must, after all, be an increase in demand for educated labor to match the increase in supply.

FRANK LEVY, The Economic Future of American Families: Income and Wealth Trends

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 can be engaged in. That every man may receive at least a moderate education, and thereby be enabled to read the histories of his own and other countries, by which he may duly appreciate the value of our free institutions, appears to be an object of vital importance, even on this account alone, to say nothing of the advantages and satisfaction to be derived from all being able to read the Scriptures, and other works both of a religious and moral nature, for themselves.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, speech delivered as candidate for the state legislature, March 9, 1832

You'll find that education's about the only thing lying around loose in this world, and that it's about the only thing a fellow can have as much of as he's willing to haul away. Everything else is screwed down tight and the screw-driver lost.

GEORGE HORACE LORIMER, Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son

It was in making education not only common to all, but in some sense compulsory on all, that the destiny of the free republics of America was practically settled. Every man was to be trained, not only to the use of arms, but of his wits also; and it is these which alone make the others effective weapons for the maintenance of freedom.

JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL, "New England Two Centuries Ago", The Writings of James Russell Lowell in Prose

Institutional learning facilities are traps intended to control the mind, subdue the soul, and keep you in debt until you're too old to cause trouble.... Step-by-step, inch-by-inch they will kill your ingenuity. Brick by brick, they'll enclose your mind, telling you what's right to think and what isn't.

RICK REMENDER, Black Science, No. 15, June 2015

It is really mortifying, sir, when a woman possessed of a common share of understanding considers the difference of education between the male and female sex, even in those families where education is attended to... Nay why should your sex wish for such a disparity in those whom they one day intend for companions and associates. Pardon me, sir, if I cannot help sometimes suspecting that this neglect arises in some measure from an ungenerous jealousy of rivals near the throne.

ABIGAIL ADAMS, letter to John Adams, February 15, 1778

Almost everyone today is brain-damaged by our education which is designed to produce docile automatons.

TIMOTHY LEARY, Your Brain Is God


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