14 Great Quotes from Einstein on Education (with Sources)

Albert EinsteinIt changed the way we see the universe. He also spoke about education. Here are 14 of his pronouncements onLearning and Education issues. Many quotations are attributed to Einstein are specious, which is why I’ve provided sources for each of these fourteen.

About Schooling ‘’It is nothing short of a miracle that modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry.’’ [quoted in The New York Times, March 13 1949, p. 34].

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On the Imagination: ‘’Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.’’ [quoted in “What Life Means to Einstein: An Interview by George Sylvester Viereck” Saturday Evening Post , October 26th, 1929, p. 11].

The Love of Learning: ’I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.’’ [quoted in Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe, p. 548].

Creativity: ‘’It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.’‘ [quoted in Alice Calaprice, The Ultimate Quotable Einstein, p. 100].

Play: “The desire to arrive finally at logically connected concepts is the emotional basis of a vague play with basic ideas. . . . . this combinatory or associative play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought.” [quoted in Jacques Hadamard, An Essay on the Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1945, p. 142].

On Curiosity: “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Each reason for existence of curiosity is unique. When one contemplates the mystery of time, of life and the amazing structure of reality, it is impossible not to be amazed. Even if one attempts to grasp a tiny bit of this mystery each day, it is sufficient. Never lose a holy curiosity.’’ [quoted in, ‘’Death of a Genius-Old Man’s Advice to Youth: ‘Never Lose a Holy Curiosity,’’ Life Magazine 38, no. 18, (May 2, 1955): p. 64].

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On Wonder: ”The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the foundation of science and art. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead, a snuffled-out candle.” [quoted in Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe, p. 387].

The Individuality of the Human Being ”The development of general ability for independent thinking and judgment should always be placed foremost, not the acquisition of special knowledge. . .” [quoted in Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions, Broadway Books, p. 64].

On Neurodiversity: His son, Albert Einstein Jr. wrote: ”[Einstein]It was. . . His teachers considered him to be backward. He told me that his teachers reported to his father that he was mentally slow, unsociable and adrift forever in his foolish dreams.” [quoted in Victor Goertzel and Mildred G. Goertzel, Cradles of Eminence, p. 248.

On Compassion: ‘’Our task must be to free ourselves from our prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all humanity and the whole of nature in its beauty.’’ [quoted in Walter Sullivan, ‘’The Einstein Papers: A Man of Many Parts,’’ The New York Times, March 29, 1972, p. 20].

Care for Nature: ”In every true searcher of Nature there is a kind of religious reverence.” [quoted in The Ultimate Quotable Einstein, p. 32].

On Tolerance: ‘’Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.’’ (*14*).

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Beauty: ‘’To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly; this is religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I am a devoutly religious man.” [quoted in Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe, p. 387].

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On EducationThis is: ‘’The wit was not wrong who defined education in this way: ‘Education is that which remains, if one has forgotten everything he learned in school.’’ [quoted in Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions, p. 63].

More information about Albert EinsteinSee my book If to learn more about his vision for education and the quotes he used. EinsteinRan the Schools: Reviving U.S. Education.

photo of cover of book

This page was created by Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D., and thegoneapp.com

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