Thursday, September 18, 2008

Educational Quotations


* I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: 'The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that's fair.' In these words he epitomized the history of the human race.
o Bertrand Russell, Education and the Social Order

* The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.
o Plutarch, On Listening to Lectures

* If you think that education is expensive, try ignorance.
o Derek Bok

* Education is what survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten.
o B. F. Skinner

* One of the main things about teaching is not what you say but what you don't say. When you hear someone play, you have to work out the way they do things naturally and then leave them alone, because you want the naturalness to be there still.
o Itzhak Perlman, "Teaching the Teachers" in Strad

* Education is the factory that turns animals into human beings. […] If women are educated, that means their children will be too. If the people of the world want to solve the hard problems in Afghanistan — kidnapping, beheadings, crime and even al-Qaeda — they should invest in [our] education.
o Ghulam Hazrat Tanha, Director of Education, Herat, Afghanistan
o Baker, Aryn, "Afghanistan's Girl Gap", Time, 21 January 2008. URL accessed on 2008-01-22.

* Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain.
o John F. Kennedy, speech on 18th May 1963 on the 90th Anniversary Convocation of Vanderbilt University [1]

* Education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.
o John Dewey (Source: My Pedagogic Creed)

* Think about every problem, every challenge, we face. The solution to each starts with education.
o George H. W. Bush - Announcement of the America 2000 Education Strategy (April 18, 1991) What Work Requires of Schools Pg 2.


What about creativeness in general?


Yes, what about it? Why is it that in most children education seems to destroy the creative urge? Why do so many boys and girls leave school with blunted perceptions and a closed mind? A majority of young people seem to develop mental arteriosclerosis forty years before they get the physical kind. Another question: why do some people remain open and elastic into extreme old age, whereas others become rigid and unproductive before they’re fifty? It’s a problem in biochemistry and adult education.

o Aldous Huxley, in an interview by Raymond Fraser and George Wickes for The Paris Review, Issue 23, Spring 1960.

* School is punishment for the crime of being young.
o Nana Lee

[edit] Teachers

* "If you are truly serious about preparing your child for the future, don't teach him to subtract - teach him to deduct."
o Fran Lebowitz, Social Studies (1981)
* "In a democratic state the schoolmaster is afraid of his pupils and flatters them, and the pupils despise both schoolmaster and paidagogos. The young expect the same treatment as the old, and contradict them and quarrel with them. In fact, seniors have to flatter their juniors, in order not to be thought morose old dotards."
o Plato, Republic - 563 BC
* "No matter how long you teach a fool, he still knows everything."
o Leonid S. Sukhorukov, All About Everything (2005)
* This fallacy [appeal to authority] is not in itself an error; it is impossible to learn much in today's world without letting somebody else crunch the numbers and offer us explanations. And teachers are sources of necessary information. But how we choose our "authorities" and place a value on such information, is just another skill rarely taught in our education systems. It's little wonder that to most folk, sound bites and talking heads are enough to count as experts. […] Teaching is reinforcing the appeal to authority, where anybody who seems more intelligent than you must ultimately be right. […] We educators must simply role-model critical thinking. […] Educators themselves have to be prepared to show that “evidence” and “answers” are two separate things by firmly believing that, themselves.
o Mike McRae, Australian teacher and guest columnist, "Educating Future Critical Thinkers", Swift, 31 March 2006
* "To teach is to touch the heart and impel it to action."
o Louis Sullivan, architect, mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright, "Kindergarten Chats and Other Writings"
* "The very corner-stone of an education intended to form great minds, must be the recognition of the principle, that the object is to call forth the greatest possible quantity of intellectual power, and to inspire the intensest love of truth: and this without a particle of regard to the results to which the exercise of that power may lead, even though it should conduct the pupil to opinions diametrically opposite to those of his teachers. We say this, not because we think opinions unimportant, but because of the immense importance which we attach to them; for in proportion to the degree of intellectual power and love of truth which we succeed in creating, is the certainty that (whatever may happen in any one particular instance) in the aggregate of instances true opinions will be the result; and intellectual power and practical love of truth are alike impossible where the reasoner is shown his conclusions, and informed beforehand that he is expected to arrive at them.
o John Stuart Mill "Civilization," London and Westminster Review (April 1836)

* Ethics could teach us only those purposes and ideals. If the teachers seeks insight into the means by which the aim can be reached, into the facts by which the child can be molded, his way must lead from ethics to psychology. (...) Water flows downhill, anyhow, but to bring the water uphill hydraulic forces are indeed necessary. To overcome nature and instead to prepare for a life of ideals, to inhibit personal desires and instead to learn to serve the higher purposes indeed demands most serious and most systematic efforts. It is the teachers' task to make these efforts with all his best knowledge of mind and body, of social and of cultural values.
o Hugo Munsterberg, Psychology and the Teacher, 1909 (new edition, 2006), p64-65

* Daily contact with some teachers is itself all-sided ethical education for the child without a spoken precept. Here, too, the real advantage of male over female teachers,especially for boys, is seen in their superior physical strength,which often, if highly estimated, gives real dignity and commands real respect, and especially in the unquestionably greater uniformity of their moods and their discipline.
o Stanley Hall - Youth: it's education, regimen and hygiene (available at

* The schoolmaster is the person who builds up the intelligence of the pupil; the intelligence of the pupil increases in direct proportion to the efforts of the teacher; in other words, he knows just what the master has made him know and understands neither more nor less than the master has made him understand. When an inspector visits a school and questions the pupils he turns to the master, and if he is satisfied says: "Well done, teacher!" For the result is indubitably the work of the master; the discipline by which he has fixed the attention of his pupils, even to the psychical mechanism which has guided him in his teaching, all is due to him. God enters the school as a symbol in the crucifix, but the creator is the teacher.
o Maria Montessori, Spontaneous Activity in Education (available at

* "To make oneself interesting artificially," that is, interesting tothose who have no interest in us, is indeed a very difficult task; and to arrest the attention hour after hour, and year after year, not of one, but of a multitude of persons who have nothing in common with us, not even years, is indeed a superhuman undertaking. Yet this is the task of the teacher, or, as he would say, his "art": to make this assembly of children whom he has reduced to immobility by discipline follow him with their minds, understand what he says, and learn; an internal action, which he cannot govern, as he governs the position of their bodies, but which he must win by making himself interesting, and by maintaining this interest.
o Maria Montessori, Spontaneous Activity in Education (available at

[edit] Self-education and home education

* We must encourage [each other] once we have grasped the basic points to interconnecting everything else on our own, to use memory to guide our original thinking, and to accept what someone else says as a starting point, a seed to be nourished and grown. For the correct analogy for the mind is not a vessel that needs filling but wood that needs igniting no more and then it motivates one towards originality and instills the desire for truth. Suppose someone were to go and ask his neighbors for fire and find a substantial blaze there, and just stay there continually warming himself: that is no different from someone who goes to someone else to get to some of his rationality, and fails to realize that he ought to ignite his own flame, his own intellect, but is happy to sit entranced by the lecture, and the words trigger only associative thinking and bring, as it were, only a flush to his cheeks and a glow to his limbs; but he has not dispelled or dispersed, in the warm light of philosophy, the internal dank gloom of his mind.
o Plutarch, On Listening to Lectures

* From my grandfather's father, [I learned] to dispense with attendance at public schools, and to enjoy good teachers at home, and to recognize that on such things money should be eagerly spent.
o Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Meditations, Book I, verse 4

* Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.
o Leonardo da Vinci

[edit] Raising children

* Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
o The Bible, Proverbs, 22:6

* Children begin by loving their parents; after a time they judge them; rarely , if ever, do they forgive them.
o Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance

* When children stop asking questions, it's time for parents to ask their own.
o Leonid S. Sukhorukov, All About Everything

* Children are given to us to discourage our better emotions.
o Saki, Reginald

* Whatever you would have your children become, strive to exhibit in your own lives and conversation."
o Lydia H. Sigourney

* The parents who are unwilling to permit their children to undergo a course of training under strict discipline, are the ones who deserve the reproof. In the first place, everything they possess, including the children, is devoted to ambition.
o Petronius "The Satyricon; Vol I, Chap.IV"

* It has been written that Boris "laid down a course of study for him in infancy." Nothing could be sillier. We tried to cultivate his curiosity on all subjects, and when he asked to answer fully, and to lead him to a greater curiosity so that he would go and find out for himself. But we never tried to push him an inch along any mental path in which he was not interested.
o Sarah Sidis, mother of William James Sidis

* It (obedience) is the sole duty of the children; it develops sooner than other moral feelings, for it is the root of all morality. Later on, [even] after morality becomes possible within the sphere that has been left free by the parents, obedience still remains the highest duty. The child is not permitted to want to be free outside this sphere.
o Johann Gottlieb Fichte - The System of Ethics: According to the Principles of the Wissenschaftslehre, 2005, Cambridge, p.320

* Exercises in being obedient can not begin too early, and I have, during an olmost daily observation of six years, discovered no harm from an early, consistent, guiding of the germinating will, provided only this guiding be done with the greatest mildness and justice, as if the infant had already an insight into the benefits of obedience.
o William Thierry Preyer, The Mind of the Child,1890, p.345 (Preyer was the first child psychologist)

* The old superstition that children have innate faculties of such a finished sort that they flash up and grasp the principle of things by a rapid sort of first "intellection," an error that made all departments of education so trivial, assumptive and dogmatic for centuries before Comenius, Basedow and Pestalozzi, has been banished everywhere save from moral and religious training, where it still persists in full force. (...) But parents are prone to forget that healthful and correct sentiments concerning matters of conduct are, at first, very feeble,and that the sense of obligation needs the long and careful guardianship of external authority.
o Stanley Hall - Youth: it's education, regimen and hygiene (available at

[edit] Goal of education

* This education forms the common mind, Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined.
o Alexander Pope, Moral Essays, 1735

* Gentlemen, you are now about to embark on a course of studies which will occupy you for two years. Together, they form a noble adventure. But I would like to remind you of an important point. Nothing that you will learn in the course of your studies will be of the slightest possible use to you in after life, save only this, that if you work hard and intelligently you should be able to detect when a man is talking rot, and that, in my view, is the main, if not the sole, purpose of education.
o John Alexander Smith, Professor of Moral Philosophy, Oxford University, 1914

* The great object of Education should be commensurate with the object of life. It should be a moral one; to teach self-trust; to inspire the youthful man with an interest in himself; with a curiosity touching his own nature; to acquaint him with the resources of his mind, and to teach him that there is all his strength, and to inflame him with a piety towards the Grand Mind in which he lives.
o Ralph Waldo Emerson, essay 'Emerson on education'

[edit] Coercion and education

* What we need is to justify coercion, paternalistic control, blame, scolding, and punishment - all of which are less evident in trigonometry class than in a fourth grade learning long division.(...) I have argued that blame, scolding, and punishment in public schools - what I have called "the ordeal" - can be successfully defended. Students have a duty to learn, and can be held responsible for violating whatever rules, policies, or instructions are enforced to ensure that they do so.
o Charles Howell - Syracuse University: Education, Punishment, and Responsibility src

* (...) there is always the difficulty of difficulties, that of inducing the child to lend himself to all this endeavor, and to second the master, and not show himself recalcitrant to the efforts made on his behalf. For this reason the _moral_ education is the point of departure; before all things, it is necessary to _discipline_ the class. The pupils must be induced to _second_ the master's efforts, if not by love, then by force. Failing this point of departure, all education and instruction would be _impossible_, and the school _useless_.
o Maria Montessori, Spontaneous Activity in Education (available on

[edit] Philosophy of education

* The real nature of education is at variance with the account given of it by certain of its professors.
o Socrates, from Plato's The Republic

* The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.
o William James, Principles of Psychology

* Good teaching comes from good people.
o Parker Palmer, The Courage to Teach

* We must become just by doing just acts.
o Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book II, #4

* It is by doing good that we become good.
o Jean Jacques Rousseau, Emile

* Man must develop his tendency towards the good.
o Immanuel Kant, Thoughts on Education, #12

* In the world of knowledge, the idea of good appears last of all, and is seen only with effort.
o Plato, "The Allegory of the Cave"

* From now on, I'm not doing anything I don't want to do. The world owes me happiness, fulfillment, and success. I'm just here to cash in.
o Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes, "Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat"

* It is no easy task to be good.
o Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book II, #9

* The most important thing is that the natural will of the child be broken.
o August Hermann Francke, (German educator)Pädagogische Schriften, p15

[edit] History of education

* It must also be remembered that one of the three branches of Primary Education in Hellas would be called play in England: an afternoon spent in running races, jumping, wrestling, or riding would not be regarded as work by an English schoolboy. Music, too, is usually learned during play-hours in an English school. Even Letters, when the elementary stage was past, meant reciting, reading, or learning by heart the literature of the boy's own language, and most of it not stiff literature by any means, but such fascinating fairy-tales as are found in Homer. There is little trace of Hellenic boys creeping unwillingly to school: their lessons were made eminently attractive.
o Kenneth Freeman - 'The Schools of Hellas' p81.

* (...) but the story that Rome created and maintained an extensive system of state-controlled and -supported schools is mainly hyperbole. (...) Official policy had the effect of encouraging the opening of schools, but throughout the greater part of Rome's history, neither compulsory education nor a state school system was enforced or erected.
o Edward J. Power, A Legacy of Learning: A History of Western Education, 1991, p92

[edit] Against education

[edit] Against the educational system

* Continued adherence to a policy of compulsory education is utterly incompatible with efforts to establish lasting peace.
o Ludwig Von Mises, Liberalism, p. 114

* I believe that school makes complete fools of our young men, because they see and hear nothing of ordinary life there.
o Petronius, Satyricon

* I have not the least doubt that school developed in me nothing but what was evil and left the good untouched.
o Edvard Grieg; quoted in Henry T. Fink, Grieg and His Music (1929), page 8

* Show me the man who has enjoyed his schooldays and I will show you a bully and a bore.
o Robert Morley, Robert Morley: Responsible Gentleman (1966)

* 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 wreck and ruin without fail. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty. To the contrary, I believe it would be possible to rob even a healthy beast of prey of its voraciousness, if it were possible, with the aid of a whip, to force the beast to devour continuously, even when not hungry, especially if the food, handed out under such coercion, were to be selected accordingly.
o Albert Einstein; quoted in "Autobiographical Notes", Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist, Paul Schilpp, ed. (1951), pp. 17-19

* I hated school so intensely. It interfered with my freedom. I avoided the discipline by an elaborate technique of being absent-minded during classes.
o Sigrid Undset, 1928 Nobel Prize in literature; quoted in Twentieth Century Authors, Kunitz and Haycraft, editors (1942), page 1432

* Children are naturally expressive but they go to school and get it taught out of them.
o Robert Duke, "Teaching the Teachers" in Strad

* In my opinion the prevailing systems of education are all wrong, from the first stage to the last stage. Eduation begins where it should terminate, and youth, instead of being led to the development of their faculties by the use of their senses, are made to acquire a great quantity of words, expressing the ideas of other men instead of comprehending their own faculties, or becoming acquainted with the words they are taught or the ideas the words should convey.
o William Duane , "Journal of the Senate of the Commonwealth of Kentucky," 1822

* The child is regarded as a sort of a little beast, a kind of young ape, at best a little savage. The child, accordingly, is trained to act not by the light of reason, but by the command of superior force. The child is ruled by fear. Our young generation is trained by fear into discipline and obedience. We thus suppress the natural genius and originality of the child, we favor and raise mediocrity, and cultivate the philistine, the product of education, ruled by rod, not by thought.
o Boris Sidis, Lecture on the abuse of the fear instinct in early education

* "At school boys become gluttons and slovens, and, instead of cultivating domestic affections, very early rush into libertinism which destroys the constitution before it is formed; hardening the heart as it weakens the understanding."
o Mary Wollstonecraft, "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects" (1792)

* Gosh, its alot like school here isnt it?
o Anonymous On being in jail

[edit] Against state education

* There is not, perhaps, in the kingdom, a more dogmatical, or luxurious set of men, than the pedantic tyrants who reside in colleges and preside at public schools.
o Mary Wollstonecraft, "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects" (1792)

* A government system of education in Prussia is not inconsistent with the theory of Prussian society, for there all wisdom is supposed to be lodged in the government. But the thing is wholly inadmissible here . . . because, according to our theory, the people are supposed to be wiser than the government. Here, the people do not look to the government for light, for instruction, but the government looks to the people. The people give the law to the government. To entrust, then, the government with the power of determining the education which our children shall receive is entrusting our servant with the power to be our master. This fundamental difference between the two countries, we apprehend, has been overlooked by the board of education and its supporters.
o Orestes Brownson, Testimony against proposed Truancy Laws before the Massachusetts Board of Education, 19th Century

* [w]e cannot violate the principles of liberty in regard to education without furnishing at once a precedent and inducement toviolate them in regard to other matters.
o Sir Edward Baines

* Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds.
o Thurgood Marshall, Stanley v. Georgia, Delivering the opinion of the US. Supreme Court, 1969

* There is, in fact, only one solution: the state, the government, the laws must not in any way concern themselves with schooling or education. Public funds must not be used for such purposes. The rearing and instruction of youth must be left entirely to parents and to private associations and institutions.
o Ludwig Von Mises, Liberalism, p. 115

* I would promise the whole amount were I not afraid that someday my gift might be abused for someone's selfish purposes, as I see happen in many places where teachers' salaries are paid from public funds. There is only one remedy to meet this evil: if the appointment of teachers is left entirely to the parents, and they are conscientious about making a wise choice through their obligation to contribute to the cost.
o Pliny the Younger, Letters and Panegyricus, Book IV, XIII; London, 1969, William Heinemann, p. 277-283
o writing to his friend Tacitus almost two thousand years ago, describing his plan to establish a secondary school in his home town, but adding that he had decided to pay only one third of the total cost

* The school that flies the flag is, in the long run accountable to that flag and to the power and values which is represents.
o Jonathan Kozol, as quoted by Robin Small, in "Marx and education",

Robin Small

* A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another: and as the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, a priesthood, an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation; in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by natural tendency to one over the body. An education established and controlled by the State should only exist, if it exists at all, as one among many competing
o John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859), in The English Philosophers from Bacon to Mill, ed. Edwin A. Burtt (New York: Random House, 1939), pp. 1033–34

* Government schooling is the most radical adventure in history. It kills the family by monopolizing the best times of childhood and by teaching disrespect for home and parents. The whole blueprint of school procedure is Egyptian, not Greek or Roman. It grows from the theological idea that human value is a scarce thing, represented symbolically by the narrow peak of a pyramid.
o John Taylor Gatto, I Quit, I Think, 2001

* Is it not ironical that in a planned society of controlled workers given compulsory assignments, where religious expression is suppressed, the press controlled, and all media of communication censored, where a puppet government is encouraged but denied any real authority, where great attention is given to efficiency and character reports, and attendance at cultural assemblies is compulsory, where it is avowed that all will be administered to each according to his needs and performance required from each according to his abilities, and where those who flee are tracked down, returned and punished for trying to escape - in short, in the milieu of the typical large American secondary school - we attempt to teach 'the democratic system'?
o Royce Van Norman, "School Administration: Thoughts on Organization and Purpose," Phi Delta Kappan 47 (1966):315-16

* Wherever is found what is called a paternal government, there is found state education. It has been discovered that the best way to insure implicit obedience is to commence tyranny in the nursery.
o Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister (1874)

* That 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.
o H.L. Mencken

* ...this has become the most notable feature of the recent history of European 'education': the enterprise of substituting 'socialization' for education. ... The design here is to reduce or abolish disparities in opportunity and thus to generate a 'fully integrated' society. Here, however, the design and its imposition upon the educational engagement are inseperable: the design itself requires that all schools shall be the same and that none shall be 'School'.

Michael Oakeshott, Education: the engagement and its frustration

[edit] For education

[edit] For state education

* Dear rulers ... I maintain that the civil authorities are under obligation to compel the people to send their children to school. ... If the government can compel such citizens as are fit for military service to bear spear and rifle, to mount ramparts, and perform other martial duties in time of war, how much more has it a right to compel the people to send their children to school, because in this case we are warring with the devil, whose object it is secretly to exhaust our cities and principalities of their strong men.
o Martin Luther, 1524, letter to the German rulers
o quoted in The History of Compulsory Education in New England, John William Perrin, 1896

* ...whoever has a right to hang has a right to educate.
o Lord Macaulay, Education, April 19, 1847

* there shall be compulsory education, as the saying is, of all and sundry, as far this is possible; and the pupils shall be regarded as belonging to the state rather than to their parents.
o Plato, The Laws

* In particular, at this point also urge governing authorities and parents to rule well and to send their children to school. Point out how they are obliged to do so and what a damnable sin they commit if they do not, for thereby, as the worst enemies of God and humanity, they overthrow and lay waste both the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the world. Explain very clearly what kind of horrible damage they do when they do not help to train children as pastors, preachers, civil servants, etc., and tell them that God will punish them dreadfully for this. For in our day and age it is necessary to preach about these things. The extent to which parents and governing authorities are now sinning in these matters defies description. The devil, too, intends to do something horrible in all this.
o Martin Luther, forword to 'the small catechismus'
o Preface.19-20, The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Robert Kolb and Timothy J. Wengert, eds., Fortress Press: Minneapolis, 2000

* "Therefore I praise New England because it is the country in the world where is the freest expenditure for education. ..., namely, that the poor man, whom the law does not allow to take an ear of corn when starving, nor a pair of shoes for his freezing feet, is allowed to put his hand into the pocket of the rich, and say, You shall educate me, not as you will, but as I will: not alone in the elements, but, by further provision, in the languages, in sciences, in the useful and in elegant arts. The child shall be taken up by the State, and taught, at the public cost, the rudiments of knowledge, and, at last, the ripest results of art and science.
o Ralph Waldo Emerson, essay - 'Emerson on education'

* Education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don't need little changes, we need gigantic revolutionary changes. Schools should be palaces. Competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be getting six-figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge for its citizens, just like national defense. That is my position. I just haven't figured out how to do it yet.
o Aaron Sorkin, The West Wing

* Of all our institutions public education is the most important. Everything depends on it, the present and the future. It is essential that the morals and political ideas of the generation which is now growing up should no longer be dependent upon the news of the day or the circumstances of the moment. Above all we must secure unity: we must be able to cast a whole generation in the same mould.
o Napoleon Bonaparte, in an 1807 meeting of the Council of State. Quoted in "The Life and Memoirs of Count Molé", written by Mathieu Louis Molé, edited by the Marquis de Noailles. 2v London, 1923, 61.

* I think this (...) will demand, as a minimum condition, the establishment of a world State and the subsequent institution of a world-wide system of education designed to produce loyalty to the world State. No doubt such a system of education will entail, at any rate for a century or two, certain crudities which will militate agains the development of the individual. But if the alternative is chaos and the death of civilisation, the price will be worth paying.
o Bertrand Russell, Education and the Social Order

* Education, Public – "The single most important element in the maintenance of a democratic system."... "The better the citizenry as a whole are educated, the wider and more sensible public participation, debate and social mobility will be. Any serious rivalry from private education systems will siphon off Élites and thus fatally weaken both the drive and the financing of the state system. That a private system may be able to offer to a limited number of students the finest education in the world is irrelevant. Highly sophisticated Élites are the easiest and least original thing a society can produce. The most difficult and the most valuable is a well-educated populace."
o John Ralston Saul, Doubter's Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense, Penguin, 1995

* There is a doctrine that is fundamental in American education. That is: every child born or adopted by this republic has by virtue of that fact the right to have developed whatever of talent he may possess, without reference to the quality, quantity, or type of that talent, under conditions favorable to such development, and that he shall have assured to him the oppurtunity to go as far as his ability and ambition will permit in order that he may live his life more abundantly than he otherwise could.
o Claude L. Kulp, Ithaca High School Dedication Address, September 1960 (reprinted in The Ithaca Journal, September 26, 1960)

* Education Public - "It is established that education is absolutely vital for an advancing society, the point i am arguing is that state education creates a level playing field for all students regardless of colour, creed and class.
o Julien V. Tempone, youth of the year award winner; for this exert on his speech on equality, 2006

* (...) success itself will decide whether the end of education, the [child's] usefullness [for the end of reason], has been attained. This is a manner of which the state is an extremely competent judge. Thus, if the state grants some office to the son, it thereby judges that his education is completed. Moreover, the judgement of the state binds the parents juridically; they ought to subordinate themselves to it for the sake of duty.
o Johann Gottlieb Fichte - The System of Ethics: According to the Principles of the Wissenschaftslehre, 2005, Cambridge, p.323

* Lycurgus," says Plutarch, "resolved the whole business of legislation into the bringing up of youth." When our legislators shall have learnt wisdom from the Spartan, they will acquire, as he acquired, the power of remoulding the national character.
o Robert Owen, Tracts on Republican Government and National Education (1840), p.14

[edit] For Choice in Education

"It was imagined that experiments in education were not necessary; and that, whether any thing in it was good or bad, could be judged of by the reason. But this was a great mistake; experience shows very often that results are produced precisely the opposite to those which had been expected. We also see from experiment that one generation cannot work out a complete plan of education."

o Immanuel Kant, in his university lectures "On Pedagogy"

[edit] Future of education

* Within the next generation I believe that the world's leaders will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging them and kicking them into obedience
o Aldous Huxley, Letter to George Orwell (Smith, Grover (1969). Letters of Aldous Huxley. Chatto & Windus)