Greats On Education


“He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just, all men are not true. But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero; that for every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader.”

Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend.
Teach him that a dollar earned is of far more value than five found.
Teach him to learn to lose and also to enjoy winning.
Steer him away from envy, if you can.
Teach him the secret of quiet laughter.
Teach him the wonder of books; but also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on a green hillside.
In school teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat.
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if every one tells him they are wrong.
Teach him to be gentle with gentle people, and tough with tough people.
Try to give him the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the band wagon.
Teach him to listen to all men, but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth, and take only the good that comes through.
Teach him how to laugh when he is sad. Teach him there is no shame in tears.
Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob; and to stand and fight if he thinks he’s right.
Treat him gently, but do not cuddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel.
Let him have the courage to be impatient; let him have the patience to be brave.
Teach him always to have sublime faith in his Creator and faith in himself too, because then he will always have faith in mankind.
This is a big order, but please see what you can do.
He is such a fine little fellow, my son.

(letter written to the Head Master of the School in which his son was studying)

Nothing is quite like the company of a good teacher - ZAKIR HUSSAIN

Although we have been working for "Nayee Talim" (new education) all these years, so far, our course was mapped out. We have now before us uncharterd waters, with the Pole Star as our only guide and protection. That Pole Star is village handicrafts - MAHATMA GANDHI

Wealth is a golden cage in which children of the rich are bred into artificial deadening of their powers. Therefore, in my school (Shantiniketan), much to the disgust of people of expensive habits, I had to provide for this great teacher - this bareness of furniture and materials - not because it is poverty, but because it leads to personal experience of the world - RABINDRANATH TAGORE

What children need from the teacher is encouragement, proper material, class management and companionship - DEVI PRASAD

We have come to this world to accept it, not merely to know it. We may become powerful by knowledge, but we attain fullness by sympathy with all existence - RABINDRANATH TAGORE

Nothing is more crushing to the infant spirit than a parents’ or a teacher's contempt for those creative efforts of expression, as child's art, which is its passport to freedom, to the full fruition of all its gifts and talents, to its true and stable happiness in adult life - HERBERT READ

Let the growth of the child's mind be under Nature's generous and joyful space and time. Today, education is sitting on the child's shoulders as a burden - RABINDRANATH TAGORE

Every act done with a sense of beauty, grace and human relevance is art, and every object created with care is an artifact - DEVI PRASAD

It is the egocentricity of the teacher that he thinks that he can teach. As long as we cherish this pride, we will never be able to understand the essence of education - VINOBA BHAVE


  • The first principle of true teaching is that nothing can be taught.
  • The second principle is that the mind has to be consulted in its own growth.
  • The third principle of education is to work from the near to the far, from that which is to that which shall be.
  • The chief aim of education should be to help the growing soul to draw out that in itself which is best, and make it perfect for a noble cause.
  • The teacher is not an instructor or a taskmaster, he is a helper and a guide. His business is to suggest and not to impose.


“ Intelligence is the capacity to perceive the essential, the ‘what is’; and to awaken this capacity, in oneself and in others, is education ”

“ The purpose of education is to produce integrated men and women who are free of fear; it should help in experiencing the integrated process of life.”

“ It is in the understanding of ourselves that fear comes to an end. When there is no self-knowledge, self-expression becomes self-assertion, with all its aggressive and ambitious conflicts. The greatest need and most pressing problem for every individual is to have an integrated comprehension of life - but the whole, the total process of life cannot be understood through the part; it can be understood only through action and experience. As long as we are seeking inward security, the total process of life cannot be understood.”

“The whole content of life can never be foreseen, it must be experienced anew from moment to moment.”

“ The school should help its young people to discover their vocations and responsibilities; it should be the soil in which they can grow without fear - happily and integraly.”

“ It is only when there is integration of the mind and heart in every-day action that there can be intelligence and inward transformation.”

“ As long as success is our goal we cannot be rid of fear, for the desire to succeed inevitably breeds the fear of failure - the young should not be taught to worship success.”

“ With self-abnegation comes immesurable joy.”

“ Education in the true sense is to encourage the child to understand his relationship to people, to things and to nature.”

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