Education is the Engine of Personal Development

atkins-bookshelf-quotationsEducation is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that a son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.

Nelson Mandela, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (1993) from Long Walk to Freedom (1995).

Wise Words Endure

atkins-bookshelf-quotationsColors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure.

Edward Thorndike (1874-1949) American psychologist whose extensive research on behaviorism and the learning process with animals and humans, led to the theory of connectionism, forming the foundation of modern educational psychology. He developed Thorndike’s Theory of Learning that states that all learning is incremental, learning occurs automatically, and that all animals learn the same way. His Law of Effect states that learning that is followed by reward will be strengthened while learning followed by punishment will be weakened. He was an eloquent champion of active learning — letting children learn on their own as opposed to receiving instructions.

Read related post: William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize Speech

It is Much Easier to Believe Than Think

One of the great tragedies of modern education is that most people are not taught to think critically. The majority of the world’s people, those of the West included, are taught to believe rather than to think. It is much easier to believe than think.

Haki Madhubuti, poet, lecturer, founder and director emeritus of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing, and the director of the MFA degree program in creative writing at Chicago State University.

Passionate Curiosity

The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when contemplating the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of the mystery every day. The important thing is not to stop questioning; never lose a holy curiosity.

Albert Einstein, in an interview with William Miller, Life magazine, May 2, 1955.