E | Quote Library


  • OK, so you’ve got a Ph.D. Now, don’t touch anything. –Anonymous
  •  Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one. –Malcolm S. Forbes
  • The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn… and change. — Carl Rogers, Freedom to Learn
  •  Education must have an end in view, for it is not an end in itself. — Sybil Marshall
  • Where there are two PhDs in a developing country, one is head of state and the other is in exile. — Lord Samuel
  • Those who educate children well are more to be honored than parents, for these only gave life, those the art of living well. –Aristotle
  •  Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. –Will Durant
  • Those who can do. Those who can’t teach. Those who can’t teach train teachers. Those who can’t train teachers write teacher training textbooks. Those who can’t write teacher training textbooks write state assessment tests. –Steve Nordby
  •  If anything concerns me, it’s the oversimplification of something as complex as assessment.
  • My fear is that learning is becoming standardized. Learning is idiosyncratic. Learning and teaching is messy stuff. It doesn’t fit into bubbles.  — Michele Forman, 2001 Teacher of the Year, quoted by the Associated Press.
  •  In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then He made School Boards. — Mark Twain (1835–1910), U.S. author. "Following the Equator," ch. 61, Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar (1897)
  • School-days, I believe, are the unhappiest in the whole span of human existence. They are full of dull, unintelligible tasks, new and unpleasant ordinances, brutal violations of common sense and common decency. It doesn’t take a reasonably bright boy long to discover that most of what is rammed into him is nonsense, and that no one really cares very much whether he learns it or not. — H. L. Mencken (1880–1956), U.S. journalist. "Travail," Baltimore Evening Sun (8 Oct. 1928; repr. in A Mencken Chrestomathy, pt. 17, 1949)
  • One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child. — Maria Montessori
  • No trace of slavery ought to mix with the studies of the freeborn man. . . . No study, pursued under compulsion, remains rooted in the memory. — Plato (c. 427–347 B.C.), Greek philosopher. Socrates, The Republic, bk. 7, sct. 536
  • Thou hast most traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm in erecting a grammar school. — William Shakespeare (1564–1616), English dramatist, poet. Jack Cade, in King Henry VI, pt. 2, act 4, sc. 7
  • It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. — Albert Einstein (1879–1955), German-born U.S. physicist.
  •  [T]he most important contribution schools can make to the education of our youth is to provide them with a sense of coherence in their studies; that is, a sense of purpose, meaning, and interconnectedness in what they learn . . . [In modern secular education, the] curriculum is not, in fact, a "course of study" at all but a meaningless hodgepodge of subjects. — Neil Postman,
  • Teaching as a Conserving Activity Your learning is useless to you till you have lost your text-books, burnt your lecture notes, and forgotten the minutiae which you learnt by heart for the examination. — Alfred North Whitehead, mathematician and philosopher, 1861 – 1947.
  • Our entire school system is based on the notion of passive students that must be "taught" if they are to learn. . . . Our country spends tens of billions of dollars each year not just giving students a second-rate education, but at the same time actively preventing them from getting an education on their own. And I’m angry at how school produces submissive students with battered egos. Most students have no idea of the true joys of learning, and of how much they can actually achieve on their own. — Adam Robinson, co-founder of The Princeton Review
  • The chief lesson I have learned in a long life is that the only way you can make a man trustworthy is to trust him; and the surest way to make him untrustworthy is to distrust him and show your distrust. — Henry Lewis Stimson (1867–1950), U.S. Secretary of State (1929-1933), U.S. Secretary of War (1911-1912 and 1940-1945)
  • I think my deepest criticism of the educational system at that period [junior high and high school], and that also applies to other periods, is that it’s all based upon a distrust of the student. Don’t trust him to follow his own leads; guide him; tell him what to do; tell him what he should think; tell him what he should learn. Consequently at the very age when he should be developing adult characteristics of choice and decision making, when he should be trusted on some of those things, trusted to make mistakes and to learn from those mistakes, he is, instead, regimented and shoved into a curriculum, whether it fits him or not. — Carl Rogers (1902 – ) U.S. psychologist, in R. Evans Carl Rogers: The Man and His Ideas, (1975), p. 39
  • Of course, Behaviorism "works." So does torture. Give me a no-nonsense, down-to-earth behaviorist, a few drugs, and simple electrical appliances, and in six months I will have him reciting the Athanasian Creed in public. — W. H. Auden (1907–73), Anglo-American poet. "A Certain World," Behaviorism (1970)
  •  Suppose that humans happen to be so constructed that they desire the opportunity for freely undertaken productive work. Suppose that they want to be free from the meddling of technocrats and commissars, bankers and tycoons, mad bombers who engage in psychological tests of will with peasants defending their homes, behavioral scientists who can’t tell a pigeon from a poet, or anyone else who tries to wish freedom and dignity out of existence or beat them into oblivion. — Noam Chomsky (b. 1928), U.S. linguist, political analyst. "For Reasons of State," Psychology and Ideology (1973; first published 1971 as a review of B. F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity)
  • If we ever do end up acting just like rats or Pavlov’s dogs, it will be largely because behaviorism has conditioned us to do so.– Richard Dean Rosen (b. 1949), U.S. journalist, critic. "Psychobabble: Fast Talk and Quick Cure in the Era of Feeling," Psychobabble (1977)
  • Our schools have become vast factories for the manufacture of robots. We no longer send our young to them primarily to be taught and given the tools of thought, no longer primarily to be informed and acquire knowledge; but to be "socialized" — which in the current semantic means to be regimented and made to conform.–Robert Lindner, psychoanalyst in Must You Conform? (1956) While children’s perceptions of the world and opportunities for genuine spontaneity and creativity are being systematically eliminated from the kindergarten, unquestioned obdeience to authority and rote learning of meaningless material are being encouraged — Harry L. Gracey, sociologist, "Learning the Student Role: Kindergarten as Academic Boot Camp" in H. Stub (ed.)The Sociology of Education: A Sourcebook (1975)
  • School administrators intone that "in order for learning to take place, there must be order in the classroom." That may be true, but I feel the emphasis is in the wrong place. In order for learning to take place, there should be something worth learning. — Susan Ohanian, teacher and writer, "There’s Only One True Technique for Good Discipline," in Who’s in Charge? (1994)
  • When a teacher complains that students are "off task" – a favorite bit of educational jargon – the behaviorist will leap to the rescue with a program to get them back "on" again. The more reasonable response to this complaint is to ask, "What’s the task?" Not surprisingly, this way of framing the problem meets with considerable resistance on the part of many educators. More than once I have been huffily informed that life isn’t always interesting, and kids had better learn to deal with this fact. . . . Thus is the desire to control children, or the unwillingness to create a worthwhile curriculum, rationalized as being in the best interests of the students. — Alfie Kohn, social psychologist, Punished by Rewards (1993)
  •  The function of education has never been to free the mind and spirit of man, but to bind them; and to the end that the mind and spirit of his children should never escape Homo sapiens has employed praise, ridicule, admonition, accusation, multilation, and even torture to chain them to the culture pattern . . . for where every man is unique there is no society, and where there is no society there can be no man. Contemporary American educators think they want creative children, yet it is an open question as to what they expect these children to create. And certainly the classrooms — from kindergarten to graduate school — in which they expect it to happen are not crucibles of creative activity and thought. It stands to reason that were young people truly creative the culture would fall apart, for originality, by definition, is different from what is given, and what is given is the culture itself. From the endless, pathetic, "creative hours" of kindergarten to the most abtruse problems in sociology and anthropology, the function of education is to prevent the truly creative intellect from getting out of hand. — Jules Henry, Culture Against Man
  • Academies that are founded at public expense are instituted not so much to cultivate men’s natural abilities as to restrain them.  — Baruch Spinoza (1632 – 1677)
  • Schools and colleges have until now (to recap briefly) served a society that needed reliable, predictable human components. Appropriately enough, they spent overwhelming amounts of time and energy ironing out those human impulses and capabilities which seemed errant. Since learning involves behavioral change, lifelong learning was the most errant of behaviors and was not to be countenanced. Educational institutions, therefore, were geared to stop learning. Perhaps half of all learning ability was squelched in the earliest elementary grades, where children found out that there exist predetermined and unyielding "right answers" for everything, that following instructions is what really counts and, most surprisingly, that the whole business of education is mostly dull and painful. — George B. Leonard, journalist and educational consultant, Education and Ecstasy (1968)
  • Believe nothing, O monks, merely because you have been told it . . . or because it is traditional, or because you yourselves have imagined it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be conductive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings – that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide. — Gautama Buddha
  • The authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to learn. –Cicero (Quoted by Montaigne)
  •  Look to the Classics, History, to the Arts, for there is truth. Look away from the systems, the processes, the techniques. – Charles Guggenheim The things taught in schools and colleges are not an education, but the means to an education. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The college undergraduate is a lot of things–many of them as familiar, predictable and responsible as the bounce of a basketball, and others as startling (and occasionally disastrous) as the bounce of a football. – John Sloan Dickey
  • Education is what remains when one has forgotten everything he learned in school. – Albert Einstein
  • America’s future walks through the doors of our schools every day. Mary Jean LeTendre
  •  A college education is not a quantitative body of knowledge salted away in a card file. It is a taste for knowledge, a taste for philosophy, if you will; a capacity to explore, to question, to perceive relationships, between fields of knowledge and experience. A. Whitney Griswold
  • The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life. – Plato
  • 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
  • College professor–someone who talks in other people’s sleep. Bergen Evans
  • Economists report that a college education adds many thousands of dollars to a man’s lifetime income–which he then spends sending his son to college. Bill Vaughn
  • If you feel that you have both feet planted on solid ground, then the university has failed you. – Robert Gohen
  • The chief value in going to college is that it’s the only way to learn it really doesn’t matter. George Edwin Howes
  • The freshmen bring a little knowledge in and the seniors take none out, so it accumulates through the years. A. Lawrence Lowell
  • You can lead a boy to college, but you can’t make him think. Elbert Hubbard
  • A senior always feels like the university is going to the kids. Tom Masson
  • Without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously. – G.K. Chesterson
  • The important thing is the educational experience itself — how to survive it. Donald Barthelme


  • I never blame fortune — there are too many complicated situations in life. But, I am absolutely merciless toward lack of effort. — F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Success comes before work only in the dictionary. Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences com from little things… I am tempted to think there are no little things. — Bruce Barton
  • We were overwhelming underdogs. — Yogi Berra


  • You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do. — Olin Miller.

Emotions – Negative

  •  Emotions should be servants, not master — or at least not tyrants. — Rodger H. Benson
  • An hysteric is a person who has discovered the secret of perpetual emotion.

Emotions – Positive

Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so you apologize for truth. -- Benjamin Disraeli


  • The simple act of paying positive attention to people has a great deal to do with productivity. — Thomas Peters & Robert Waterman, Jr.
  •  Boast less. Boost more. — Harry Brown
  •  We live by encouragement and die without it — slowly, sadly, angrily. — Celeste Holm
  • One of the commodities in life that most people can’t get enough of is compliments. The ego is never so in-tact that one can’t find a hole in which to plug a little praise. But compliments by their very nature are highly biodegradable and tend to dissolve hours or days after we receive them — which is why we can always use another. — Phyllis Theroux
  • Spare the rod and spoil the child — that is true. But, beside the rod, keep an apple to give him when he has done well. — Martin Luther
  • Celebrate what you want to see more of. — Tom Peters
  • The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated. — William James
  • The companies that are best at creating a good quality of work life will be able to attract and retain the most skilled workers. — Rosabeth Moss Kanter, editor, Harvard Business Review
  • There are two things people want more than sex and money — praise and recognition. — Mary Kay Ash
  •  Most of the high spots in our lives come about through encouragement. I don’t care how great, how famous, how successful a man may be, he hungers for applause. – Anonymous
  • "The best way to help a man increase his output, or his leadership of any kind, is to help build the man. Help him increase his stature as a man, and he will just naturally do better — on the job and off." — Earl Nightingale
  •  "If you could kick the person responsible for most of your troubles, you wouldn’t be able to sit down for six months." — Gordon Gray  
  • "If you ever think you’re too small to be effective, you’ve never been in bed with a mosquito!" – Wendy Lesko


  • We must all go and work in the garden. – Voltaire
  •  Begin at the beginning," the king said gravely, "and go till you come to the end; then stop." — Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer. – Emerson
  • When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. – Franklin D. Roosevelt


  • Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate. — David Belasic
  • The defects of a preacher are soon spied. Let him be endowed with ten virtues and have but one fault, and that one fault will eclipse and darken all his virtues and gifts, so evil is the world in these times. — Martin Luther
  • No man roots for Goliath. — Wilt Chamberlain


  • Religion is lost with the repression of the high hope of adventure. — Alfred North Whitehead
  • I’m not young enough to know everything. — J. M. Barrie Source: Little Zen Companion, Schiller.
  •  No battle of any importance can be won without enthusiasm. — Father John O’Brian, Professor of Theology, Notre Dame University
  • The great accomplishments of man have resulted from the transmission of ideas and enthusiasm. — Thomas J. Watson
  • There will be no accomplishments without enthusiasm. – Emerson
  • The worst bankruptcy in the world is the person who has lost his enthusiasm. — H. W. Arnold
  • My coach said, "Believe in yourself. Run with heart and put the rest aside." It’s amazing how your body responds to your thoughts. — Carlette Guidry, 200-Meter American Women’s Record Holder
  •  Every great and commanding movement in the annals of the world is the triumph of enthusiasm. Nothing great was ever achieved without it. – Emerson
  • "Reason alone is insufficient to make us enthusiastic in any matter." — François duc de la Rochefoucauld, 17th-century French memoirist and philosopher "
  • What a man accomplishes in a day depends upon the way in which he approaches his tasks. When we accept tough jobs as a challenge. . . and wade into them with joy and enthusiasm, miracles can happen. When we do our work with a dynamic conquering spirit, we get things done." — Arland Gilbert
  • Zeal will do more than knowledge.” — William Hazlitt, early 18th-century English essayist and literary critic
  • "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." — Margaret Mead, 20th century American anthropologist
  •  "The conclusions of passion are the only reliable ones." — Soren Kierkegaard, early 19th-century Danish philosopher
  •  "Make no little plans! They have no magic to stir men’s blood." — Daniel Burnham, 19th-century Chicago architect
  • "Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring." — Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th-century American essayist, public philosopher and poet  
  • "The two sovereign remedies for dullness are love or a crusade.’’ — D.H. Lawrence, 20th-century English novelist
  •  "Know the true value of time; snatch, seize and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness. . . . never put off till tomorrow what you can do today." — Lord Chesterfield, 18th century English man of letters


  • You can’t save the soul while the biosphere crumbles. — Theodore Roszak
  • Nature is our sister, not our mother; she too has fallen. — G. K. Chesterton


  • When you’re green with envy you’re ripe for trouble. – Unknown


  • I wish we might have less condemnation of error and more commendation of right. – Warren G. Harding, 1923
  •  Rarely have so many people been so wrong about so much. – f,, 1985

Eternal Life

  • The average man, who does not know what to do with his life, wants another one which will last forever. — Anatole France
  • Millions long for immortality; and yet don’t know what to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon." — Susan Ertz
  • All that is not eternal is eternally out of date.- C.S. Lewis


  • Ethics is not definable, is not implementable, because it is not conscious; it involves not only our thinking, but also our feeling. –Valdemar W. Setzer
  •  A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary.  Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. –Albert Einstein
  • The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot. — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), What Is Man? (1906)


  • The world has more winnable people than ever before… but it is possible to come out of a ripe field empty-handed. — Donald McGavran
  •  You have nothing to do but to save souls. Therefore spend and be spent in this work. … John Wesley (1703-1791)


  • The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.  –Vincent T. Lombardi
  • It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it. — Somerset Maugham
  •  When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another. — Helen Keller
  • I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do. — Helen Keller
  •  To do good is to do so in the minute particular. The general good is the refuge of the fool and the scoundrel. — William Blake
  • The pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy. The pursuit of perfection is frustrating, neurotic, and a terrible waste of time." — Edwin Bliss
  • There are countless ways of attaining greatness, but any road to reaching one’s maximum potential must be built on a bedrock of respect for the individual, a commitment to excellence, and a rejection of mediocrity. — Buck Rodgers
  • The reward of a thing well done is to have done it. — Emerson If a man does his best, what else is there? — Geo. Patton
  • Good, Better, Best. Never rest until good be better And better best. — Mother Goose
  •  Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. — Booker T. Washington


  • It’s not that I am against exercise. It’s just that when I look at my body, I feel it’s already been punished enough!" – J. Hall "I get my exercise acting as a pallbearer to my friends who exercise." – Chauncey Depew


  • "The day you take complete responsibility for yourself, the day you stop making any excuses, that’s the day you start to the top." — O.J. Simpson
  • Man is not the creature of circumstances. Circumstances are the creatures of men. — Benjamin Disraeli People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. — Geo. B. Shaw

Expectations — Negative

"I am not in this world to live up to other people’s expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine."– Fritz Perls

Expectations – Positive

  • He who is slow in promising is always the most faithful in performing. — Jean Jacques Rousseau
  • Assume a virtue as if you already had it. – Shakespere
  • High expectations are the key to everything. — Sam Walton
  • Personally, I believe God is waiting and willing to reveal things that will radically change the lives of people. I believe He is eternally waiting and eager to call forth something from you that has never been said or thought of since the beginning of time. You may be the one in your own field or area or interest to find that all the good things haven’t been said or done or even thought of. — Bruce Larson


  • I’m still hungry for every sensation I can get. — Martha Graham
  • Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes on. — Samuel Butler
  •  Has any man ever obtained inner harmony by simply reading about the experiences of others? Not since the world began has it ever happened. Each man must to through the same fire himself. — Norman Douglas
  • The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water. — John Gardner, Excellence, (New York: Harper and Row, 1971)
  •  Learning from experience is a faculty almost never practiced. — Barbara Tuchman, The March of Folly
  •  Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment. –Rita Mae Brown


  • The first rule to tinkering is to save all the parts. –Paul Erlich

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