Wise thoughts on education

The first observance of American Education Week occurred Dec. 4-10, 1921, with the National Education Association and American Legion as the cosponsors. A year later, the then U.S. Office of Education joined the effort as a cosponsor, and the PTA followed in 1938.

The celebration eventually settled on the week before Thanksgiving. This year, the event falls between Nov. 18 and 22.

Many intelligent and famous people have had much to say about education. What follows are some of my favorites that can be found on the NEA website.

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

?When I was a boy on the Mississippi River there was a proposition in a township there to discontinue public schools because they were too expensive. An old farmer spoke up and said if they stopped building the schools they would not save anything because every time a school was closed, a jail had to be built.???Mark Twain

?Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.???G.K. Chesterton

?A child miseducated is a child lost.???John F. Kennedy

?(My family) believed in the public school because they believed in a community. They believed the important thing was what was in your head. My grandmother was a schoolteacher. She taught in a one-room country school north of Anoka, Minn., and my grandmother had a certain contempt for people who made a great show and were not that bright. My grandmother said, ?Don?t be a 10-dollar haircut on a 25-cent head.? You avoided that by going to school and paying attention. You became a worthwhile person and a member of the community.???Garrison Keillor, radio humorist

?Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.”??Malcolm S. Forbes

“Education is the vaccine for violence.???Edward James Olmos, actor

?An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.???Benjamin Franklin

?A teacher affects eternity.???Henry Adams

?Children need all school workers. A person is not ?just? a janitor, not ?just? a custodian. Janitors can see children when (teachers) don?t see them, and bus drivers recognize that children who are disruptive on the bus are likely to be disorderly in the classroom. They?re partners in education. We need each other to make this work.???Rev. Jesse Jackson

?The dream begins, most of the time, with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you on to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.???Dan Rather

?The highest result of education is tolerance.???Helen Keller

?The end of all education should surely be service to others.???C?sar Ch?vez

?Education?s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.???Mal?colm S. Forbes

?I like to think that the greatest success of any life is that moment when a teacher touches a child?s heart and it is never again the same…. Everything America is or ever hopes to be depends upon what happens in our school?s classrooms.???Frosty Troy, editor Okla?homa Observer

?There is a place in America to take a stand: it is public education. It is the underpinning of our cultural and political system. It is the great common ground. Public education after all is the engine that moves us as a society toward a common destiny…. It is in public education that the American dream begins to take shape.???Tom Brokaw

?Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.???James Madison

?Information is the currency of democracy.???Thomas Jefferson

?Knowledge?that is, education in its truest sense?is our best protection against unreasoning prejudice, and panic-making fear, whether engendered by special interest, illiberal minorities or panic-stricken leaders.???Franklin D. Roosevelt

?Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army.???Edward Everett

?No one can become really educated without having pursued some study in which he took no interest???T.S. Eliot

?Everything is interesting if you go into it deeply enough.???Richard Feynman, Nobel laureate

?Non schola sed vita decimos? (Only the educated are free)??Epictetus (AD 50-125)

?It?s harder to conceal ignorance than to acquire knowledge.???Arnold Glas?gow

?Knowledge is the food of the soul.???Plato

?The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.???B.B. King

?Knowledge is an antidote to fear.???Ralph Waldo Emerson

?Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.???H.G. Wells

?An education isn?t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It?s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don?t.???Anatole France

?It is easy to spot an informed man ?his opinions are just like your own.???Miguel de Unamuno

?Having opinions without knowledge is not of much value; not knowing the difference between them is a positive indicator of ignorance.???Diane Ravitch, ?The Schools We Deserve?

?The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence that it is not utterly absurd.???Bertrand Russell

?Education seems to be in America the only commodity of which the customer tries to get as little he can for his money.???Max Forman

?Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run.???Mark Twain

?Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire.???William B. Yeats

Written By
More from Bob Woelk
Short cuts we should rethink
As Americans, we love taking short cuts, doing things the easy way...
Read More