Quotes About Education

In addition to teaching, educators play a number of vital roles in students’ lives.

They serve as listeners and leaders, counselors and coaches, disciplinarians and disruptors, mediators and motivators, surrogates and soldiers, entertainers and energizers, and advocates and allies. In a typical day of switching among the ever-evolving list of roles, it is typical for educators to experience stress, burnout, guilt, and deviation from their ultimate purpose.

We hope this curation of quotes from the most compelling teachers and educational leaders in the field can serve as a source of inspiration for educators who need an extra boost at the beginning of each day, and a reminder of the reasons why they stepped bravely into the complex, critical role of guiding children from potential to possibility.

See also 50 Of The Best Quotes About Learning

Why Is Learning Important? 50 Of The Best Quotes About EducationThe paradox of education is precisely this — that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.” — James Baldwin

“Students quickly receive the message that they can only be smart when they are not who they are. This, in many ways, is classroom colonialism, and it can only be addressed through a very different approach to teaching and learning.” — Dr. Christopher Emdin

Culturally relevant teaching is about questioning (and preparing students to question) the structural inequality, the racism, and the injustice that exists in society. The teachers I studied work in opposition to the system that employs them.” — Gloria Ladson-Billings

“The teacher is of course an artist, but being an artist does not mean that he or she can make the profile, can shape the students. What the educator does in teaching is to make it possible for the students to become themselves.” — Paulo Freire

“Think of your syllabus as an act of resistance: something to be posted in the streets, handed out at rallies.” — Django Paris

“The greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” — Dr. Maria Montessori

“My job as a teacher is not to teach the curriculum or even to just teach the students; it is to seek to understand my kids as completely as possible so that I can purposefully bend the curriculum to meet them.” — Cornelius Minor

“I believe you’ve got to do what’s right, every single day of your life, even if the rest of the crowd isn’t. Teaching is about honor and goodness and mercy. You either live up to the calling of this profession or you don’t, and most likely no one will ever know but you.” — Penny Kittle

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” — Carl Sagan

“Education is not an affair of ‘telling’ and being told, but an active and constructive process.” — John Dewey

“A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.” — Horace Mann

“When children are engaged, when learning is joyful, those are the lessons that stick. Those are the lessons that are worthwhile and meaningful and hang around.” — Nancie Atwell

“We are all concerned about the future of American education. But as I tell my students, you do not enter the future — you create the future. The future is created through hard work.” — Jaime Escalante

“The passion and beauty and joy of science is that we humans have invented a process to understand the universe in a way that is true for everyone. We are finding universal truths.” — Bill Nye

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” — Frederick Douglass

“We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.” — Mary McLeod Bethune

“I believe unconditionally in the ability of people to respond when they are told the truth. We need to be taught to study rather than to believe, to inquire rather than to affirm.” — Septima Poinsette Clark

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” — Sir Ken Robinson

“Where educators are raising and combining their voices, the seeds of positive change have emerged. Collective voice, exercised through the union, is power — the power to drive real change for our kids, families, and communities.” — Randi Weingarten

“A democratic education means that we educate people in a way that ensures they can think independently, that they can use information, knowledge, and technology, among other things, to draw their own conclusions.” — Linda Darling-Hammond

“We cannot understand the relationship between poverty and education without understanding the biases and inequities experienced by people in poverty.” — Paul Gorski

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” — Malcolm X

“With guns, you can kill terrorists. With education, you can kill terrorism.” — Malala Yousafzai

“The purpose of adult education is to help them to learn, not to teach them all you know and thus stop them from learning.” — Carl Rogers

“Education helps one cease being intimidated by strange situations.” — Maya Angelou

“A mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes

“Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.” — W. E. B. Du Bois

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” — Albert Einstein

“Education can be reduced to this: What are students learning and why? And more importantly, what are they doing with what they’ve learned? These are the questions that should underpin education.” — Terry Heick

“I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.’” — Toni Morrison

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” — W. B. Yeats

“The ability to read, write, and analyze; the confidence to stand up and demand justice and equality; the qualifications and connections to get your foot in that door and take your seat at that table — all of that starts with education.” — Michelle Obama

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

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture, is like a tree without roots.” — Marcus Garvey

“When we look at the educational experiences of many groups marginalized by race, language, or socioeconomics, we see that they often get a ‘watered down’ curriculum that doesn’t require higher order thinking. Consequently, they don’t build the capacity to do higher order thinking on their own. To empower dependent learners and help them become independent learners, the brain needs to be challenged and stretched beyond its comfort zone with cognitive routines and strategy.” — Zaretta Hammond

“Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction.” — Anne Sullivan

“The old classroom model simply doesn’t fit our changing needs. It is a fundamentally passive way of learning, while the world requires more and more active processing of information. The old model is based on pushing students together in age-group batches with one-pace-fits-all curricula and hoping they pick up something along the way. It isn’t clear that this was the best model one hundred years ago; it certainly isn’t anymore.” — Sal Khan

“Every child deserves a champion: an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists they become the best they can possibly be.” — Rita Pierson“To me, the core of social emotional learning is safety. But who gets to be safe? Once we interrogate that, then we realize that not everyone has the privilege or the space to feel safe. And that’s why I do the work that I do, so that some can become everyone.” — Dena Simmons

“There needs to be a lot more emphasis on what a child can do instead of what they cannot do.” — Temple Grandin

“If someone asks me my real secret, it’s that I love my students, and I believe in their possibilities unconditionally. I see only what they can become.” — Linda Cliatt-Wayman

“If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, to be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don’t have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifetime to build and repair their own confidence.” — Carol Dweck

“Don’t let your schooling interfere with your education.” — Mark Twain

“Let’s concede that we have decided to let our children grow up in two separate nations, and lead two separate kinds of lives. If, on the other hand, we have the courage to rise to this challenge to name what’s happening within our inner-city schools, then we also need the courage to be activists and go out and fight like hell to change it.” — Jonathan Kozol

“A child’s greatest achievements are possible in play, achievements that tomorrow will become her basic level of real action.” — Lev Vygotsky

“The essence of creativity is figuring out how to use what you already know in order to go beyond what you already think.” — Jerome Bruner

“The principle goal of education in the school should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done.” — Jean Piaget

“I am always sorry to hear that such and such a person is going to school to be educated. This is a great mistake. If the person is to get the benefit of what we call education, they must educate themselves, under the direction of the teacher.” — Fanny Jackson Coppin

“May those whose holy task it is, to guide impulsive youth, fail not to cherish in their souls, a reverence for truth; for teachings which the lips impart must have their source within the heart.” — Charlotte Forten Grimke

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

50 Of The Best Education Quotes For Teachers