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Why is education important?
Education is the key to everything that is good in our world today. Advances in computers, information technology, math, medicine, psychology, engineering and every other discipline would be impossible if education didn't help us build on the advances of the great minds that came before us.
In fact, it is essential that as a society that we keep learning new things. Education is not only about the past and present, but it is also the key to the future. It will help discipline our children for the intellectual challenges of the rest of the 21st century. And it not only teaches our children facts but also teaches them how to think and learn on their own.
So to honor all educators, teachers, administrators, professors and even those involved in cutting edge online education, here are 87 education quotes that will hopefully provide you with a bit of inspiration.
These quotes about education show both the past and present views on education. They also show clearly why education is also so important for our future.
Let's get to it…
What You Will Learn
What is a Good Education?
There will always be arguments about what is taught in schools. Socrates was fed poison for teaching the “wrong things”. William of Ockam and Galileo are two great examples that philosophy and science have always been controversial topics (to understate the issue) when education runs counter to the status quo.
The line on what is good education seems to keep moving.
With common core and year-round schools coming into vogue these days, schools are a very different place than when I was a kid. And education 50 years from now will be even more different. I imagine 3-D display classrooms, with virtual summer bulletin boards and a ton of technology streamlining learning. (Even now, you check out the best educational apps that kids can use to better engage in learning.)
Yes, the future of education may seem strange to us today, but the changes will be made for the better of the student, or the changes will not last long.
When I think of, “what is good education” one quote comes to my mind. A quote by John Fitzgerald Kennedy that I think encapsulates what a good education is really all about:
(Are you a teacher looking to create goals for the next school year? Our post on SMART goals examples for teachers might help!)
With our first education quote out of the way, I will stop my essay, and give you a look at what you can expect from the rest of this quote post.
This article will feature many education quotes by many of the greatest thinkers of all time: Albert Einstein, George Santayana, Confucius, Maya Angelou, Francis Bacon, Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, and Benjamin Franklin
But all these quotes are not just the serious musings of the bright lights from history. Many entertainers have chimed in over the years with their own quotes about the importance of education. This list has education quotes from Jim Henson, Dr. Seuss, H.G Wells, C.S. Lewis, Katey Sagal, Tupac Shakur, and Lady Gaga.
Without further ado, let’s get to the education quotes. Starting first with the most important aspect of education: kids. As the late Whitney Houston sang “I believe that children are our are future. Teach them well and let them lead the way”
Let's start by focusing on quotes about the impact of education on children…
19 Education Quotes for Kids
“Kids don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.”– Jim Henson
“Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.”– Chinese proverb
“A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.”– George Santayana
“Children just need the time, space, and permission to be kids.”– Angela Hanscom
“Children have to be educated, but they have also to be left to educate themselves.”– Ernest Dimnet
“The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”– Dr. Seuss
“Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.”– Confucius
“Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.”– Roger Lewin
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.”– Thomas Szasz
“Please stop teaching my children that everyone gets a trophy just for participating. What is this, the Nobel Prize? Not everybody gets a trophy.”– Glenn Beck
“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.”– Maya Angelou
“The greatest sign of success for a teacher… is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.’”– Maria Montessori
“Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it.”– Harold Hulbert
“I agree that a love of reading is a great gift for a parent to pass on to his or her child.”– Ann Brashares
“Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society.”– Benjamin Franklin
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”– Nelson Mandela
“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”– James Baldwin
“Education is a once in a lifetime opportunity to open children’s hearts and minds to the unbelievable wonder of the universe.”– Sir Anthony Seldon
17 Educational Quotes to Motivate Your Students
Creating self-motivation is a challenge. It's even harder to generate motivation in a classroom setting.
While a few kids are motivated to do well from their own thirst for knowledge. Most are not.
Particularly younger kids may go into school kicking and screaming the whole way. While the best motivation will always be intrinsic motivation something has to be done to give kids that initial motivation until they grow up enough to motivate themselves.
Parents and teachers are always working up new tricks to give these students a bit of motivation. Of course, in many ways the best motivation for the young kids remains the old “carrot and stick” method. Let the child self reward when they do good jobs and have a set of punishments when they do not live up to standards.
Not much has changed when it comes to motivation over the years, except you might be taking away time playing video games instead of taking away time from playing ball with their friends.
Regardless, some of the educational quotes below will hopefully help students gain a little bit of motivation, or at least give parents and educators some ideas on applying some extrinsic motivation.
“Who questions much, shall learn much, and retain much.”– Francis Bacon
“You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety.”– Abraham Maslow
Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”– Anthony J. D'Angelo
“The real key to learning something quickly is to take a deliberate, intelligent approach to your learning.”– Lindsay Kolowich
“The essence of knowledge is, having it, to apply it; not having it, to confess your ignorance.”– Confucius
“Everybody’s a teacher if you listen.”– Doris Roberts
“Neither comprehension nor learning can take place in an atmosphere of anxiety.”– Rose Kennedy
“What we learn with pleasure we never forget.”– Alfred Mercier
“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.”– Dr. David M. Burns
“Learning starts with failure; the first failure is the beginning of education.”– John Hersey
Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”– Malcolm X
“Seeing much, suffering much, and studying much, are the three pillars of learning.”– Benjamin Disraeli
“We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.”– Lloyd Alexander
“Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.”– Og Mandino
“Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardour and diligence.”– Abigail Adams
“A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether.”– Roy H. Williams
Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”– Zig Ziglar
17 Quotes About Education and Success
The section of quotes below I have titled “quotes about education and success”. These quotes deal a lot with what it takes to achieve success in learning and education.
Of course, “success” is sort of a nebulous term. What one person views as success, another might view as a failure. For some, success is raising their child to be a decent person, for another success might be making a lot of money. Or gaining fame. Or power. Or finding happiness. Ultimately success can be best defined by understanding your core values and what you value in life.
I have talked about success a lot here on this blog. It's a popular concept for people trying to change their habits because almost everybody wants to succeed in some aspect of their lives. They are trying to learn from the mistakes of others and thereby increase their own chances of success.
I have also written a lot of quote posts, similar to this one, relating to success in its many forms and giving inspiration to those seeking to succeed. If you want to check out these success quote posts, the following is a shortlist.
- 51 Success Quotes from History's Most Famous People
- 51 Achievement Quote to Inspire Your Journey to Sucess
- Great quotes on Failure and Success
- 100 Hard Work Quotes to Achieve All You Want in Life
You can also read up on few articles I have written about achieving success:
- 21 Success Habits of Highly Organized People
- 9 World Famous Successful People Who Failed and Overcame Adversity
- 43 Experts Share Their #1 Success Habit
But enough about success in general. Let’s jump right into the quotes about education and success shared below.
“That best academy, a mother’s knee.”– James Russell Lowell
“I think our job as parents is to give our kids roots to grow and wings to fly.”– Deborah Norville
“There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.”– Mahatma Gandhi
“Being a mother has been my greatest teacher and also the most self-sacrificing thing I’ve ever done.”– Katey Sagal
“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.”– Robert Fulghum
“You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.”– Dr. Seuss
The more certain kids are that someone’s got their back, the more confident and autonomous they can be.”– Melinda Wenner Moyer
“If you don’t feel safe as a child, you can’t learn.”– Lady Gaga
“Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.”– Rabindranath Tagore
“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”– Maya Angelou
“My parents encouraged thought. You’ll get through life better if you learn how to think.”– Holly Near
“I believe that a parent’s role is to provide a path or opportunity for their children.”– David Soul
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”– Frederick Douglass
“The best way to make children good is to make them happy.”– Oscar Wilde
The best way to make children good is to make them happy.”– Oscar Wilde
“Children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.”– Lady Bird Johnson
“Education… is painful, continual and difficult work to be done in kindness, by watching, by warning, by praise, but above all — by example.”– John Ruskin
16 Quotes About Teachers and Teaching
At the heart of education lies the most important person in the educational world: the teacher.
A good teacher can change a student’s life far out of proportion to the amount of time they spend in their lives. Of course, A bad teacher can do the same, in a negative way. But fortunately, there are far more good teachers out there than bad ones.
The teacher quotes below are in honor of all the good teachers out there and for all the good they have done for students past, present and into the future.
“The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see.”– Alexandra K. Trenfor
“Teachers are those who help us in resolving problems which, without them, we wouldn’t have.”– Unknown
“Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.”– Chinese proverb
“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.”– Khalil Gibran
“If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.”– John Dewey
If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.”– John Dewey
“There is no single way to educate.”– Michael Gurian
“I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”– Albert Einstein
“Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater.”– Gail Goldwin
“Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.”– Japanese proverb
“As a teacher, my strategy is to encourage questioning. I’m the least authoritarian professor you’ll ever meet.”– Niall Ferguson
“I’m not sayin’ I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will.”– Tupac Shakur
A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”– Henry Brooks Adams
“The first condition of education is being able to put someone to wholesome and meaningful work.”– John Ruskin
“Love is a better teacher than duty.”– Albert Einstein
“If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.”– Confucius
“Art in the classroom not only spurs creativity, it also inspires learning.”– Mickey Hart
“The true teacher defends his pupils against his own personal influence.”– Amos Bronson Alcott
18 Education Quotes About Experience and Mistakes
All education in life does not come at the hands of teachers. All learning does not take place in classrooms and labs.
One of the very best teachers in life is experience. Some people refuse to learn any other way, and even those that try to carefully learn before doing things will find they are often taught surprising lessons by experience.
For most of us, experience will be one of our best teachers. We just need to be self-aware enough to notice the lessons and learn from the mistakes.
The educational quotes below talk about making mistakes and learning from them. Do this often enough and you will begin to find wisdom and happiness.
“Experience is the teacher of all things.”– Julius Caesar
“Experience is a good teacher, but she sends in terrific bills.”– Minna Antrim
“What is defeat? Nothing but education. Nothing but the first step to something better.”– Wendell Phillips
What is defeat? Nothing but education. Nothing but the first step to something better.”– Wendell Phillips
“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.”– C.S. Lewis
“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”– Robert Frost
“The years teach much which the days never know.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Observation more than books, experience rather than persons, are the prime educators.”– A. Bronson Alcott
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”– Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
“This world is your best teacher. There is a lesson in everything. There is a lesson in each experience. Learn it and become wise. Every failure is a stepping stone to success. Every difficulty or disappointment is a trial of your faith. Every unpleasant incident or temptation is a test of your inner strength. Therefore nil desperandum. March forward hero!”– Swami Sivananda
“Wisdom is the daughter of experience.”– Leonardo da Vinci
Failure is a great teacher, and I think when you make mistakes and you recover from them and you treat them as valuable learning experiences, then you’ve got something to share.”– Steve Harvey
“But I look at failure as education. In that respect, I am so well-educated.”– Kathy Ireland
“Experience, travel – these are an education in themselves.”– Euripides
“Learning starts with failure; the first failure is the beginning of education.”– John Hersey
“The trouble with learning from experience is that you never graduate.”– Doug Larson
“Our ability to achieve success depends on the strength of our wings gained through knowledge and experience. The greater our knowledge and experience, the higher we can fly.”– Catherine Pulsifer
“Your best teacher is your last mistake.”– Ralph Nader
Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity a greater.”– William Hazlitt
“By crawling, a child learns to stand.”– Hausa
“You have learned something. That always feels at first as if you had lost something.”– H.G. Wells
Final Thoughts on These Quotes About Education
This final section of education quotes is a short one. It has only the most famous education quote. Along with the Kennedy quote I used in the beginning of this educational quote post, there is one more quote that I personally love about learning and education…
I find this simple quote to be quite profound, and often ask myself this question when I think about my understanding of a concept. Could I explain it in ten words or less? Could I explain it to someone with no background in the subject? If the answer is no, I need to do more research.
Hopefully the quotes we showcased on this page inspired you a little to embrace the many benefits of learning and education. Taking the clay of our children and helping the parents too slowly mold children into thinking adults. It is a tough job, and often thankless. But by making this post I want to say to all teachers. Mine from the past, my child’s in the future and of course all other teachers out there.
Finally, if you want to use these quotes to make a lasting change to your life, then watch this free video that details the 7-minute habit for planning your day to focus on what's truly important to you..
Well…that's it from me. Now it's your turn…
What are your favorite education quotes?
Do you have a favorite from this list? If so, why?
Do you love an educational quote that did not make this list? If so, I would love to hear it?
Are you a teacher or an educator? If so let me know, just so I can say “thanks” for doing one of the most important jobs in the world. Teaching and molding the next generation. Ignite those fires of learning!
If you enjoyed this collection of education quotes, please take the time to share them on your favorite social media platform. Help me to help others discover these quotes.