Education Quotations


The grammarian is often one who can neither cry nor laugh, yet thinks that he can express human emotions. So the posture-masters tell you how you shall walk — turning your toes out, perhaps, excessively — but so the beautiful walkers are not made.—Journal, 2 January 1859
I served my apprenticeship and have since done considerable journeywork in the huckleberry field. Though I never paid for my schooling and clothing in that way, it was some of the best schooling that I got and paid for itself.—"Huckleberries"
Knowledge can be acquired only by a corresponding experience. How can we know what we are told merely? Each man can interpret another’s experience only by his own.—A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers
The universe is wider than our views of it.—Walden
The poet says the proper study of mankind is man. I say study to forget all that — take wider views of the universe.—Journal, 2 April 1852
We boast of our system of education, but why stop at schoolmasters and schoolhouses? We are all schoolmasters, and our schoolhouse is the universe. To attend chiefly to the desk or schoolhouse while we neglect the scenery in which it is placed is absurd. If we do not look out we shall find our find schoolhouse standing in a cow-yard at last.—Journal, 15 October 1859
I am still a learner, not a teacher, feeding somewhat omnivorously, browsing both stalk & leaves ——Thoreau to H. G. O. Blake, 21 May 1856
It is time that we had uncommon schools, that we did not leave off our education when we begin to be men and women.—Walden
We seem to have forgotten that the expression "a liberal education" originally meant among the Romans one worthy of free men; while the learning of trades and professions by which to get your livelihood merely, was considered worthy of slaves only. But taking a hint from the word, I would go a step further and say, that it is not the man of wealth and leisure simply, though devoted to art, or science, or literature, who, in a true sense, is liberally educated, but only the earnest and free man.—"The Last Days of John Brown"
We saw one school-house in our walk, and listened to the sounds which issued from it; but it appeared like a place where the process, not of enlightening, but of obfuscating the mind was going on, and the pupils received only so much light as could penetrate the shadow of the Catholic church.—A Yankee in Canada
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