39 Education Quotes To Increase Motivation and Engagement

Whether teaching in New York City or Chennai, India, I always started my lessons with inspirational quotes about education to boost engagement and motivation.

Learning in a classroom can have a reputation for being boring, but the right quote can remind students that learning is an irreplaceable adventure.

I spent over a decade teaching and being a Dean of Students and have seen firsthand the power of a positive message to encourage perseverance, self-reflection, and a growth mindset.

I hope this collection of quotes about education helps you craft lessons, expose your students to diverse leaders, and promote lifelong learning.

Top 10 Education Quotes To Boost Learning Motivation

1. “Education does not change the world. Education changes people. People change the world.” — Paulo Freire

Education’s Ripple Effect

Learning exposes us to new ideas and new concepts that we can experiment with in our day-to-day lives. Once our mind is expanded, it’s a little bit different. Facts, perspectives, philosophies, and understandings are just words. But when applied by a person, can change their life for the better and the lives of those around them.

About Paulo Freire

Paulo Freire, a Brazilian educator and philosopher, developed his influential ideas about education and social change during the 1960s and 1970s, a time marked by significant inequalities and social injustice in Brazil and beyond. Freire’s work, including his seminal book “Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” challenged the notion of education as a privilege for the wealthy and instead advocated for education as a tool for empowerment and liberation among the oppressed and marginalized. His ideas resonated with various social and political movements of the time, emphasizing the transformative power of education to raise critical consciousness, foster individual empowerment, and ultimately lead to social change.

2. “Becoming is better than being.” — Carol Dweck

Cultivating a Growth Mindset

Every challenge is targeting an area of yourself that needs to grow. Focus on learning and improving rather than just being.

About Carol Dweck

Carol Dweck, an American psychologist, developed her influential concept of “growth mindset” in the early 2000s, challenging the prevalent belief that intelligence and abilities were fixed traits. Her work, including her 2006 book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” emerged at a time when the educational landscape was grappling with issues of student motivation, achievement gaps, and the impact of psychological factors on learning outcomes.

3. “We do not learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience.” — John Dewey

Turning Experience into Wisdom

Take time to reflect on your experiences today. Don’t just go through the motions. Pause, think about what you’ve learned, and apply those insights to grow.

About John Dewey

John Dewey, an American philosopher and educational reformer, made significant contributions to the field of education in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a time when traditional, teacher-centered approaches to education were being questioned. Dewey’s ideas, rooted in pragmatism and the belief that education should be centered around the learner’s experiences and reflections, played a key role in shaping the progressive education movement.

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4. “Help me to do it myself.” — Maria Montessori

Empowerment Through Self-Reliance

Empower yourself to take on challenges independently. Seek guidance when needed, but remember, you have the strength and ability to figure things out on your own.

About Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator, developed her innovative educational approach in the early 1900s, a time when education was often characterized by strict discipline and rote learning. Montessori’s method, which emphasized independence, self-directed learning, and hands-on experiences, challenged prevailing educational norms and laid the foundation for child-centered education.

5. “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

Education for Character Building

Education is about more than just acquiring knowledge. Strive to develop your critical thinking skills and strengthen your character. True education should help you become a well-rounded, thoughtful, and ethical person.

About Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr., an American Baptist minister and civil rights activist, advocated for education as a means of personal and societal transformation during the 1950s and 1960s, a period marked by racial segregation and inequality in the United States. King’s vision of education, which emphasized critical thinking, moral character, and social responsibility, was closely tied to his broader mission of achieving racial justice and equality.

6. “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” — George Washington Carver

Learning Leads to Liberation

Recognize the power of education in your life. Learning can open doors to new opportunities, personal growth, and even greater freedom. Embrace education as a lifelong pursuit.

About George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver, an American agricultural scientist and inventor, made this statement in the early 20th century, a time when educational opportunities for African Americans were severely limited due to racial discrimination and segregation. Carver’s words underscore the transformative power of education in the face of oppression and the importance of knowledge in the pursuit of personal and collective liberation.

7. “The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.” — B.B. King

Knowledge as a Lifelong Asset

Remember, your education is a valuable asset that belongs to you forever. No matter what happens in life, the knowledge and skills you gain through learning will always be yours.

About B.B. King

B.B. King, an American blues singer, guitarist, and songwriter, expressed this sentiment in the context of his own life experiences and the cultural landscape of the mid-20th century, a time when educational opportunities for African Americans were often limited. King’s words reflect the enduring value of education and the idea that knowledge and skills are a form of personal empowerment that cannot be easily taken away.

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8. “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” — Nelson Mandela

Education Creates Change

Your education gives you the tools to make a difference. Use what you learn to positively impact your community and the world around you. You have the power to create change.

About Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and political leader, expressed this belief in the transformative power of education during his lifetime (1918-2013), which was marked by the struggle against the oppressive apartheid regime in South Africa. Mandela’s words underscore the role of education in empowering individuals to challenge injustice, promote equality, and bring about social change.

9. “Teach the children so it will not be necessary to teach the adults.” — Abraham Lincoln

Investing in Tomorrow’s Leaders

By providing children with a strong educational foundation, we can create a better future for generations to come. Be a role model and support the learning of those around you.

About Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, made this statement in the mid-19th century, a time when public education was expanding and the nation was grappling with issues of social and political transformation. Lincoln’s words reflect the belief that investing in the education of youth is crucial for the long-term progress and well-being of society.

10. “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” — Oscar Wilde

Elevating Yourself Through Education

Never stop learning, and always present your best self to the world. Continually seek out new knowledge and experiences, and take pride in your personal growth and development.

About Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde, an Irish poet, playwright, and novelist, made this witty remark in the late 19th century, a period characterized by significant social and cultural changes, including the expansion of educational opportunities and the challenges to traditional class and gender roles. Wilde’s words, while playful, suggest the enduring value of education and the idea that one can never have too much knowledge or refinement.

Education Quotes To Increase Student Engagement

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

12. “Learning is not a spectator sport.” — D. Blocher

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

14. “The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.” — Carl Rogers

15. “Learn as if you will live forever, live like you will die tomorrow.” — Mahatma Gandhi

16. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss

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17. “The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.” — Thomas Paine

18. “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” — Malala Yousafzai

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

Education Quotes To Inspire Personal Growth

20. “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” — Anthony J. D’Angelo

21. “The mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

22. “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” — Benjamin Franklin

23. “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” — Pablo Picasso

24. “Change is the end result of all true learning.” — Leo Buscaglia

25. “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” — Albert Einstein

26. “Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson

27. “The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice.” — Brian Herbert

28. “Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.” ― Robert Frost

29. “Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.” –  Og Mandino

Education Quotes For Teachers To Use For The Do Now Activity

30. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” — Mark Twain

31. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” — Lao Tzu

32. “Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.” — William Butler Yeats

33. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” — Nelson Mandela

34. “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” — Zig Ziglar

Education Quotes To Cultivate Perseverance and Grit

35. “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” — Albert Einstein

36. “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” — Henry Ford

37. “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” — Carl Jung

38. “Life ain’t a sprint it’s a marathon, and just like any marathon, you have to watch your pace.” – Nipsey Hussle

39. “When you look ahead and darkness is all you see, faith and determination will pull you through.” – Drake

Which education quote was your favorite?

Whether you use these quotes to start a lesson or hang up on the way, we hope you can use these educational quotes as a classroom resource.

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  1. LM Junior

    July 21, 2023 at 2:52 PM

    it’s really amazing. this kind of education and learning quote inspires me a lot. its also inspiration both students and teachers. thank you.

    • Danielle Dahl, Managing Editor

      July 24, 2023 at 12:05 PM

      Thanks for leaving a comment, and we are glad you found value in these quotes! Please don’t forget to click the share button!

  2. Dhinesh

    May 22, 2022 at 5:20 AM

    In spite of all these things some people are telling that education is nothing. How is this phrase truthful?

  3. Jhomar Smith

    March 15, 2021 at 5:56 AM

    Education is really the key to our success!!!

  4. Usman Tareen

    November 4, 2020 at 1:56 PM

    Education is the mother of leadership (very great effort) by collecting such great quotes

  5. Nancy Lalweny

    July 10, 2019 at 6:59 AM

    8. “He who opens a school door, closes a prison.” ― Victor Hugo.
    this is my best quote. However, most of them are inspiring. Many thanks for sharing

  6. Mary P Esposito

    June 19, 2019 at 1:46 PM

    These quotes are inspiring and remind us how important it is to learn something new everyday of our lives and teach our young the love of learning.

  7. Brenda Legonhal

    May 8, 2019 at 6:22 PM

    “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet” Aristotle

  8. clinton mala

    May 6, 2019 at 5:17 PM

    education is the passport to the future,for tomorrow belongs to those who preparee for it today

    • Ruchita

      December 3, 2019 at 1:11 AM

      Very inspiring

  9. Mk

    April 29, 2019 at 10:34 PM

    7.) “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ― our Prophit Muhammed Peace be upon him, not Ghnadi

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