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Quotations about learning

Isaac AsimovKnowledge is indivisible. When people grow wise in one direction, they are sure to make it easier for themselves to grow wise in other directions as well. On the other hand, when they split up knowledge, concentrate on their own field, and scorn and ignore other fields, they grow less wise -- even in their own field.

 - Isaac Asimov

Douglas AdamsHuman beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.

 - Douglas Adams

It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.

 - Ann Landers

Dante AlighieriYou can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.

 - Dr. Seuss

Mahatma GandhiLive as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

 - Mahatma Gandhi

Carl RogersIf we value independence, if we are disturbed by the growing conformity of knowledge, of values, of attitudes, which our present system induces, then we may wish to set up conditions of learning which make for uniqueness, for self-direction, and for self-initiated learning.

 - Carl Rogers

Douglas AdamsA learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.'

 - Douglas Adams

James BaldwinTo accept one's past -- one's history -- is not the same thing as drowning in it; it is learning how to use it. An invented past can never be used; it cracks and crumbles under the pressures of life like clay in a season of drought.

 - James Baldwin

Groucho MarxLearn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.

 - Groucho Marx

Jim RohnSome people claim that it is okay to read trashy novels because sometimes you can find something valuable in them. You can also find a crust of bread in a garbage can, if you search long enough, but there is a better way.

 - Jim Rohn

Susan CainThe purpose of school should be to prepare kids for the rest of their lives, but too often what kids need to be prepared for is surviving the school day itself.

 - Susan Cain

Neil deGrasse TysonThe problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation. For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you.

 - Neil deGrasse Tyson

Jiddu KrishnamurtiLearning in the true sense of the word is possible only in that state of attention, in which there is no outer or inner compulsion. Right thinking can come about only when the mind is not enslaved by tradition and memory.

 - Jiddu Krishnamurti

Abigail AdamsLearning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.

 - Abigail Adams

Lloyd AlexanderIn some cases we learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.

 - Lloyd Alexander

Lloyd AlexanderYou must know nothing before you can learn something, and be empty before you can be filled. Is not the emptiness of the bowl what makes it useful?

 - Lloyd Alexander

Abdul KalamWhen learning is purposeful, creativity blossoms. When creativity blossoms, thinking emanates. When thinking emanates, knowledge is fully lit. When knowledge is lit, economy flourishes.

 - A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Richard FeynmanWe are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.

 - Richard Feynman

Albert EinsteinEducation is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.

 - Albert Einstein

Albert EinsteinLearn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.

 - Albert Einstein

Bill GatesTechnology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.

 - Bill Gates

Bertrand RussellIn the beginning of algebra, even the most intelligent child finds, as a rule, very great difficulty. The use of letters is a mystery, which seems to have no purpose except mystification. It is almost impossible, at first, not to think that every letter stands for some particular number, if only the teacher would reveal what number it stands for.

 - Bertrand Russell

Robert HeinleinI don't "believe" in anything. I know certain things - little things, not the nine billion names of God - from experience. But I have no beliefs. Belief gets in the way of learning.

 - Robert A. Heinlein

Carl SaganHumans may crave absolute certainty; they may aspire to it; they may pretend, as partisans of certain religions do, to have attained it. But the history of science -- by far the most successful claim to knowledge accessible to humans teaches that the most we can hope for is successive improvement in our understanding, learning from our mistakes, an asymptotic approach to the Universe, but with the proviso that absolute certainty will always elude us. We will always be mired in error. The most each generation can hope for is to reduce the error bars a little, and to add to the body of data to which error bars apply.

 - Carl Sagan

ConfuciusBy three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

 - Confucius

Henry FordAnyone who stops learning is old whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.

 - Henry Ford

David HumeCuriosity, or the love of knowledge, has a very limited influence, and requires youth, leisure, education, genius and example to make it govern any person.

 - David Hume

David HumeIt is certain that a serious attention to the sciences and liberal arts softens and humanizes the temper, and cherishes those fine emotions in which true virtue and honor consist. It rarely, very rarely happens that a man of taste and learning is not, at least, an honest man, whatever frailties may attend him.

 - David Hume

David HumeThe sweetest and most inoffensive path of life leads through the avenues of science and learning; and whoever can either remove any obstruction in this way, or open up any new prospect, ought so far, to be esteemed a benefactor to mankind.

 - David Hume

Horace For man learns more readily and remembers more willingly what excites his ridicule than what deserves esteem and respect.

 - Horace

Michel de MontaigneA tutor should not be continually thundering instruction into the ears of his pupil, as if he were pouring it through a funnel, but, after having put the lad, like a young horse, on a trot, before him, to observe his paces, and see what he is able to perform, should, according to the extent of his capacity, induce him to taste, to distinguish, and to find out things for himself; sometimes opening the way, at other times leaving it for him to open; and by abating or increasing his own pace, accommodate his precepts to the capacity of his pupil.

 - Michel de Montaigne

Michel de MontaigneLearning is not to be tacked to the mind, but we must fuse and blend them together, not merely giving the mind a slight tincture, but a thorough and perfect dye. And if we perceive no evident change and improvement, it would be better to leave it alone: learning is a dangerous weapon, and apt to wound its master if it be wielded by a feeble hand, and by one not well acquainted with its use.

 - Michel de Montaigne

Blaise PascalWe sometimes learn more from the sight of evil than from an example of good; and it is well to accustom ourselves to profit by the evil which is so common, while that which is good is so rare.

 - Blaise Pascal

John WayneTomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes to us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday.

 - John Wayne

Albert EinsteinThat is the way to learn the most, that when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don't notice that the time passes. I am sometimes so wrapped up in my work that I forget about the noon meal.

 - Albert Einstein

John KeatsThe only means of strengthening one's intellect is to make up one's mind about nothing -- to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts. Not a select party.

 - John Keats

Stephen HawkingNext time someone complains that you have made a mistake, tell him that may be a good thing. Because without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.

 - Stephen Hawking

Elon MuskLet's say you create a self-improving A.I. to pick strawberries, and it gets better and better at picking strawberries and picks more and more, and it is self-improving, so all it really wants to do is pick strawberries. So then it would have all the world be strawberry fields. Strawberry fields forever.

 - Elon Musk

I said...how, and why, young children, were sooner allured by love, than driven by beating, to attain good learning.

 - Roger Ascham

William PennThe first thing obvious to children is what is sensible; and that we make no part of their rudiments. We press their memory too soon, and puzzle, strain, and load them with words and rules; to know grammar and rhetoric, and a strange tongue or two, that it is ten to one may never be useful to them; leaving their natural genius to mechanical and physical, or natural knowledge uncultivated and neglected; which would be of exceeding use and pleasure to them through the whole course of their Life.

 - William Penn

Richard BransonMy biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself. I see life almost like one long university education that I never had -- every day I'm learning something new.

 - Richard Branson

Richard BransonYou don't learn to walk by following the rules. You learn by doing, and falling over.

 - Richard Branson

Albert EinsteinTeaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty.

 - Albert Einstein

Randy PauschWe send our kids out to play football or soccer or swimming or whatever it is, and it's the first example of what I'm going to call a head fake, or indirect learning. We actually don't want our kids to learn football. I mean, yeah, it's really nice that I have a wonderful three-point stance and that I know how to do a chop block and all this kind of stuff. But we send our kids out to learn much more important things. Teamwork, sportsmanship, perseverance, etcetera, etcetera. And these kinds of head fake learning are absolutely important. And you should keep your eye out for them because they're everywhere.

 - Randy Pausch

Arthur C. ClarkeWe have to abandon the idea that schooling is something restricted to youth. How can it be, in a world where half the things a mans knows at twenty are no longer true at forty -- and half the things he knows at forty hadn't been discovered when he was twenty?

 - Arthur C. Clarke

J.K. RowlingUnlike any other creature on this planet, human beings can learn and understand without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people’s places. Of course, this is a power like my brand of fictional magic that is morally neutral. One might use such an ability to manipulate or control just as much as to understand or sympathize. And many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can refuse to hear screams or peer inside pages. They can close their minds and hearts to any suffering that does not touch them personally. They can refuse to know.

 - J.K. Rowling

John McWhorterIs the reason black kids often think of school as white, that white people today don't like them, or that the system is somehow set against black kids learning? No: That analysis makes no sense, period. Only a heedless, numb kind of fealty, a quiet refusal to engage the actual individuals we are talking about, would insist that "racism" is why a black kid, decades after 1966, gives a black nerd trouble for studying hard. Racism sparked this problem originally, to be sure, but the solution today cannot be to wave a magic wand and "eliminate racism," because the teachers who exerted racism upon black kids three generations ago are now mostly dead.

 - John McWhorter