Useful Quotes

Quality Education

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

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

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
~William Butler Yeats

An educational system isn’t worth a great deal if it teaches young people how to make a living but doesn’t teach them how to make a life.
~Author Unknown

Learning is something students do, NOT something done to students.
~Alfie Kohn

Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.
~Thomas Jefferson

Importance/Role of Education

Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It’s like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won’t fatten the dog.
~Mark Twain

Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.
~George Washington Carver

He who opens a school door, closes a prison.
~Victor Hugo

The school is the last expenditure upon which America should be willing to economize.
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
~Attributed to both Andy McIntyre and Derek Bok

The real safeguard of democracy is education.
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’
~Isaac Azimov

We have an obligation and a responsibility to be investing in our students and our schools. We must make sure that people who have the grades, the desire and the will, but not the money, can still get the best education possible.
~Barack Obama

Education Criticism

In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.
~Mark Twain

A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.
~Theodore Roosevelt

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

America believes in education: the average professor earns more money in a year than a professional athlete earns in a whole week.
~Evan Esar, American Humorist (1899 – 1995)

The “Hidden Curriculum” ~Barrell

  • The teacher “teaches” and the students “sit and listen” or learn passively. There is one “right answer” to any question, and it is in the book to be read.
  • The answer to most questions can be given in one or two words, and no one will challenge you to go deeper.
  • Books and teachers are always “right”, and we learn only from them, not from any other resource in the room, such as our friends.
  • If we wait long enough, a teacher will answer her own question, so we won’t have to do much work.
  • The teacher is the only one worth listening to.
  • If we ask enough questions about a difficult assignment, we can get the teacher to make it easier and less demanding.
  • “Thinking” is not something we talk about.
  • If I memorize enough stuff, I can get a good grade.
  • Most tasks and tests will demand recall of isolated pieces of information, and I will not have to show how concepts and ideas are related or how facts illustrate underlying principles.

“We the people…”

Everyone cannot do everything, but if everyone does something everything will get done.
~Martin Luther King

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will… men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must certainly pay for all they get.
~Fredrick Douglas

Where the broom don’t sweep, the dirt don’t move.
~Folk wisdom from the elders

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.
~Benjamin Franklin

I have a need to be all on fire, for I have mountains of ice about me to melt
~William Lloyd Garrison

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.
~Thomas Paine

It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.
~Sam Adams

You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no results.

Wealth & Power

We can have a democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.
~Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Don’t forget what I discovered that over ninety percent of all national deficits from 1921 to 1939 were caused by payments for past, present, and future wars.
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

In every society where property exists there will ever be a struggle between rich and poor. Mixed in one assembly, equal laws can never be expected.
~John Adams


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