25 education quotes that show why education is important

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The learning process is a beautiful thing, but, just like with any career, it can feel frustrating at times . This is why, returning to a few favorite quotes that speak to education’s purpose can be a helpful way to remind yourself and your students why education is important.

Whether you’re looking to inspire your students or you just need some midday motivation, read on for 25 quotes that show why education is important for every kid in your classroom and for society as a whole.

Why is education important?

Deep down, every good teacher knows the impact and importance of education. It isn’t just about learning reading, writing and arithmetic at school. Instead, formal education is about gaining the knowledge and the skills needed to become a better person and create a better society to live in.

A proper education sets people up to grow personally, professionally, and socially. It can awaken joy, curiosity and a deep desire to solve problems and help others. Plus, teaching a student can inspire them to pursue leadership roles and positively impact those around them.

One of the other many benefits of education is that it can broaden a student’s horizons, helping them understand more about other cultures and corners of the world beyond the school door.

Here, we’re sharing more than two dozen of the best educational quotes — plus free design templates you can use to display them proudly. Our favorite education quotes are perfect for posters, desktop wallpapers, school worksheets, bookmarks and colorful reminders to display on your desk. Take a look at what some of the great writers, thinkers and leaders have to say about what education really means.

Education quotes about personal growth

One of the biggest reasons why education is important is that it helps us become better versions of ourselves.

The quotes below remind us that learning is a lifelong process of growth and development. It can empower us to become empathic individuals, build our self-confidence, learn more about our strengths and address our weaknesses.

If you’re a teacher anywhere from early childhood education to higher education, these uplifting school quotes are great reminders that you’re not just teaching a child — you’re influencing a future adult.

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

A beloved famous quote about education, this simple rhyme illustrates the dynamic possibilities of life and learning outside of the classroom.

2. “Education is one thing no one can take away from you.” —Elin Nordegren

An educated mind is one of the most valuable resources to have in life.

A simple but powerful reminder of the positive domino effect a good education can have on many aspects of a person’s life and outlook.

A simple but powerful reminder of the positive domino effect a good education can have on many aspects of a person’s life and outlook.

4. “Education is the key that unlocks the golden door to freedom.” —George Washington Carver

This moving quote comes from a man who was born into slavery and ultimately became one of the greatest scientists and inventors, as well as a pioneering educator. Carver was the first Black student and faculty member at Iowa State University.

5. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” —Maimonides

It’s not just about giving students all the answers. A superior teacher will help each child in their classroom cultivate a lifelong desire to learn and build the skills to find their own answers out in the world.

Education quotes about expanding your worldview

Enriching our brains with new and valuable information improves our ability to think, analyze and process the world around us. The learning process is important because it results in new knowledge — knowledge that opens our minds to new perspectives, ideas, beliefs, cultures and solutions.

Learning about different perspectives and worldviews helps any person quickly adapt to new and unfamiliar environments. It also sparks the imagination and helps us tackle unfamiliar challenges.

These favorite education quotes encourage us to think about our own perspectives on the world we live in.

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

Although getting an education at school sometimes involves cramming facts and information into your brain, this quote is a great reminder that critical thinking is more about opening your mind than filling it.

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

You probably don’t remember all the grammar rules from your English teacher or algebra equations from your math professor. But you’ll carry the way of thinking they taught you all throughout your life.

8. “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” —John Dewey

It’s impossible to move throughout the world without learning and gaining wisdom along the way.

9. “The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values.” —William S. Burroughs

Knowing about people, places and resources is one thing; knowing how to treat and respect them is another.

10. "What makes a child gifted and talented may not always be good grades in school, but a different way of looking at the world and learning." —Chuck Grassley

Sometimes you might feel like a mediocre teacher when a student’s grades are slumping. Just know that, no matter what the report card says, if they leave school with a sense of curiosity and an open mind, this is far more important than passing all the pop quizzes.

Education quotes about making a positive impact

Education goes beyond shaping us as individuals and enhancing our perspectives. It can help you become a better citizen and build a better society.

Educating the next generation helps fight back against ignorance. It helps people learn about the community at large and develop informed opinions on world issues. With educated opinions, we can support each other and make decisions that help establish a positive change in our communities.

For instance, some of the most educated people have helped lift communities out of poverty and spark economic growth. Others have enacted change through improvinng the literacy rate and supporting creative expression within their community.

These inspirational quotes invite us to reflect on how education can help us contribute more to the world around us.

11. “Education is the vaccine of violence.” —Edward James Olmos

It’s a metaphor that takes on more meaning now than ever before.

12. “Learning is not compulsory… Neither is survival.” —W. Edwards Demin

As a community, if we cease to learn, we will cease to thrive. It’s all about finding the lessons in our mistakes and gaining new knowledge to keep growing stronger by the day.

13. “The purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” —Sydney J. Harris

Although it’s easy to look in on what’s happening inside our own bubble, gaining an education helps to shift our perspectives to what’s happening beyond. With a window to the world, we’re in a better position to see and solve the problems around us.

14. “Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.” —Martin Luther King Jr.

When moral and intellectual development grow together, we can dedicate our skills, knowledge and time to just and worthy causes.

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

There’s no doubt about it: Education is a powerful tool for change. No matter what you’re fighting for, leading with a sharp mind can create more positive change than running toward challenges with a sharp sword.

Education quotes about leadership

As a teacher, you know that the children of today are the leaders of tomorrow. A quality education can transform a kid at school into an innovative leader in the workplace and community at large.

In order to tackle the challenging environmental, social and economic issues that are a part of our modern society, we need educated, skilled leaders who are dedicated to critical thinking and creative problem-solving.

Some of the best quotes for education remind us that, by cultivating and supporting one more educated person today, we’re making an immeasurable investment in the future.

16. “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 the door and take your seat at the table — all of that starts with education.” —Michelle Obama

The former First Lady’s words of wisdom point to the doors and possibilities that a quality education can open. When we take a stand — and possess the right skills to face a given challenge — people will take note.

17. “A child without education is like a bird without wings.” —Tibetan Proverb

With wings, a bird can fulfill its destiny and take flight. In the same way, a leader who has access to education can live up to their potential and help those around them prosper.

18. “The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live.” —Mortimer Adler

It doesn’t matter what age you are or where you’re at in your life’s journey — this quote reminds us that it’s never too early or too late to start learning and leading.

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

Although we learn about history in school, there’s no point in going backward or staying still. As a modern society, we can only thrive when there are educated minds, innovative leaders and change-makers at the helm.

20. “The content of a book holds the power of education and it is with this power that we can shape our future and change lives.” —Malala Yousafzai

Learning on our own is important, but it doesn’t stop there. The value of education is in spreading it around, and using what we know to educate, inspire and transform others.

Education quotes about empowerment

A good education can be empowering. When you’re prepared with knowledge, values and skills, you’re ready to carve a path forward in your own life and career. Plus, you are more confident about your ability to confront complex issues and lift up those around you.

The quotes below emphasize how the education system can galvanize students to make a meaningful difference.

21. “Education makes a people easy to lead but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.” —Peter Brougham

The message here is that education is essential for protecting and empowering society as a whole. A community made up of well-educated and invested citizens has the right ingredients to thrive.

22. “The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth.” —John F. Kennedy

At the end of the day, it’s not merely the ability to recall facts and figures that matters, but the power to seek and spread the truth.

23. “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress in every society, in every family.” —Kofi Annan

Although the learning process can seem slow and trivial at times, students take the lessons you teach them well beyond the school door.

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

As this famous quote begins, “Education is an important element in the struggle for human rights. It is the means to help our children and our people rediscover their identity and thereby increase their self-respect.”

25. “Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.” ―Walter Cronkite

When communities support educational attainment, they can reap the benefits for generations to come.

What’s your favorite education quote?

Whether your favorite teaching quote comes from a writer or philosopher — or another educator close to you who shared their own words of wisdom — it can help to keep it on display as a daily reminder of why education is important.

Learn more about how to design your own motivational quote posters and other creative projects with Canva for Education. It’s free to use for K-12 teachers and students.

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