I am an old scholar, better-looking now than when I was young. That’s what sitting on your ass does to your face.

—Leonard Cohen, 1970

Real education must ultimately be limited to men who insist on knowing—the rest is mere sheep herding.

—Ezra Pound, 1934

In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards.

—Mark Twain, 1897

All that we know is nothing can be known. 

—Lord Byron, 1812

It is a greater advantage to be honestly educated than honorably born.

—Desiderius Erasmus, 1518

The great difficulty in education is to get experience out of ideas.

—George Santayana, 1905

I wonder whether if I had an education I should have been more or less a fool than I am. 

—Alice James, 1889

The period of a [Persian] boy’s education is between the ages of five and twenty, and he is taught three things only: to ride, to use the bow, and to speak the truth.

—Herodotus, c. 440 BC

Knowledge is an ancient error reflecting on its youth. 

—Francis Picabia, 1949

Give us the child for eight years and it will be a Bolshevist forever.

—Vladimir Lenin, 1923

Education has become a prisoner of contemporaneity. It is the past, not the dizzy present, that is the best door to the future.

—Camille Paglia, 1992

Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

—H.G. Wells, 1920

A fool’s brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence university education.

—George Bernard Shaw, 1903

The Founding Fathers in their wisdom decided that children were an unnatural strain on parents. So they provided jails called schools, equipped with tortures called an education. School is where you go between when your parents can’t take you and industry can’t take you. 

—John Updike, 1963

My own experience is that a certain kind of genius among students is best brought out in bed.

—Allen Ginsberg, 1981

Repetition is the mother of education.

—Jean Paul Richter, 1807

Rewards and punishment are the lowest form of education.

—Zhuangzi, c. 286 BC

Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.

—Joseph Stalin, 1934

The ceaseless, senseless demand for original scholarship in a number of fields, where only erudition is now possible, has led either to sheer irrelevancy, the famous knowing of more and more about less and less, or to the development of a pseudo-scholarship which actually destroys its object.

—Hannah Arendt, 1972

A school without grades must have been concocted by someone who was drunk on nonalcoholic wine.

—Karl Kraus, 1909

That which is evil is soon learned. 

—John Ray, 1670

Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.

—E.M. Forster, 1951

If the heavens were all parchment, and the trees of the forest all pens, and every human being were a scribe, it would still be impossible to record all that I have learned from my teachers.

—Jochanan ben Zakkai, c. 75

Anyone who has passed through the regular gradations of a classical education, and is not made a fool by it, may consider himself as having had a very narrow escape.

—William Hazlitt, 1821

Anyone who has a child should train him to be either a physicist or a ballet dancer. Then he’ll escape.

—W.H. Auden, 1947

The Romans would never have found time to conquer the world if they had been obliged first to learn Latin. 

—Heinrich Heine, 1827

In large states public education will always be mediocre, for the same reason that in large kitchens the cooking is usually bad. 

—Friedrich Nietzsche, 1878

The desire of knowledge, like the thirst of riches, increases ever with the acquisition of it.

—Laurence Sterne, 1760

A whale ship was my Yale College and my Harvard.

—Herman Melville, 1851

What harm is there in getting knowledge and learning, were it from a sot, a pot, a fool, a winter mitten, or an old slipper? 

—François Rabelais, 1533

It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.

—Frederick Douglass, 1852