The Value of General Education


Students often wonder, ''What is the value of General Education?'' The major's narrow perspective is enhanced and enlarged by Religious and General Education; students' perspectives about themselves and the world around them are deepened by these two other components of what constitutes an education from BYU. And that world reaches from the local to the global, from the heights to the depths, from the infinitesimal to the immense. As we have been admonished we need to study "things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms'' (D & C 88: 79).

The quotations below (and on our home page) show us what LDS religious leaders, faculty and other people through the ages have thought about education. 

  • Statements from BYU Faculty and Administrators

    • From the BYU Mission Statement:

      Because the gospel encourages the pursuit of all truth, students at BYU should receive a broad university education. The arts, letters, and sciences provide the core of such an education, which will help students think clearly, communicate effectively, understand important ideas in their own cultural tradition as well as that of others, and establish clear standards of intellectual integrity.

    • From The Aims of a BYU Education:

      BYU should furnish students with the practical advantage of an education that integrates academic skills with abstract theories, real-world applications, and gospel perspectives. Such an education prepares students who can make a difference in the world, who can draw on their academic preparation to participate more effectively in the arenas of daily life.

    • From the Task Force General Education Objective Statement:

      Within The Aims of a BYU Education, the objective of BYU's General Education Program is to prepare students with a broad, integrated foundation of knowledge, skills and cultural understanding which supports and enhances major education and facilitates the ability and desire for lifelong learning and service. In an environment which blends the spiritual and the secular, general education courses should improve the student's ability to think clearly, communicate effectively, and act wisely.

  • Statements from the Scriptures and LDS Leaders

    • From the Doctrine and Covenants:

      Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come. (D & C 130:18-19)

    • From Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith:

      In knowledge there is power. God has more power than all other beings, because he has greater knowledge; and hence he knows how to subject all other beings to Him. (288)

    • From Jeffrey R. Holland, "A School in Zion":

      "If members of a democracy are to be . . . effective contributors [to the community], each should be provided with the necessary skills, social orientation, and intellectual perspective to succeed in some wide field of occupational endeavor. But such [true] vocational education must not be confused with narrow job-training. Animals are broken in and trained; human beings are to be enlightened and educated. An individual [trained but not educated] is unable to adjust in the face of changing conditions and is thus stymied by a world in flux. Sidney Hook [adds]: 'There is a paradox connected with vocational training. The more vocational it is, the narrower it is; the narrower it is, the less likely it is to serve usefully in earning a living.' [Therefore] broadened vocational preparation is not only of use to the future worker himself; its benefit to society is apparent to anyone who has ever been forced to deal with the mechanized mind of a bureaucrat." (Professor Steven Cahn, quoted by Jeffrey R. Holland, "A School in Zion," Educating Zion, 158-59)

      "The ennobling climb toward an Everest allows us—indeed requires us—to take the high ground, gives us a place to view the broader, more liberating, more eternal 'general' education, if you will, that is so fundamental to the growth of the human mind and development of the human soul." (Jeffrey R. Holland, "A School in Zion," Educating Zion, 155)

      "As for the Honors and General Education programs themselves, I consider them crown jewels at the very heart of the most important contributions BYU can make to the world of higher education. A great deal that excites me is happening in these university-wide programs, and more will happen. Our sisterhood and brotherhood and gospel-based goodwill give us a distinct GE advantage at BYU in our ability to cross disciplinary and departmental lines. We simply have a very muscular leg up on the rest of the academic world. We must seize that advantage. Having focused for several years primarily on structural arrangements, curricular issues, and winning faculty support, we should be free to pursue informed, inspired, liberating education.

      "To do so, we must organize, encourage, evaluate, and reward good teaching. You will have noted that in addition to our Alcuin awards, we have recently awarded professorships to strong scholar-teachers who have made a major commitment to undergraduate education. I have announced today the creation of a Distinguished Teacher Award, as one of the university's two highest faculty honors. Exciting, demanding, stretching, challenging, well-organized, and well-taught courses are at the heart of what we do here. No amount of structural fussing or regulatory tinkering will compensate for stale, sterile lectures.

      "In the curriculum, we must constantly resist the centrifugal force that habitually plagues GE programs and target our limited resources on a relatively small number of very significant offerings. Furthermore, we need to guard carefully against the tendency to let general education offerings become mere introductory courses to a discipline. They simply must remain more universal than that.

      "May I suggest that we also must do a better job of communicating the very practical value of general education--to our students and to the public. I think it is very important for us not to create an unnecessary cleavage between the world of the academy and the world of work, especially not in the minds of tuition-paying parents and higher education's increasing number of critics. We need to do a better job of showing the crucial link between general education and vocation." (Jeffrey R. Holland, "A School in Zion," Educating Zion, 157-8).

    • From Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: John Taylor:

      We want . . . to be alive in the cause of education. We are commanded of the Lord to obtain knowledge, both by study and by faith, seeking it out of the best books . . .

      We are here, as a people, . . . that we may put ourselves in possession of every truth, of every virtue, of every principle of intelligence known among men, together with those that God has revealed for our special guidance, and apply them to our everyday life, and thus educate ourselves and our children in everything that tends to exalt man . . . we should seek to know more about ourselves and our bodies, about what is most conducive to health and how to preserve health and to know how to avoid disease; and to know what to eat and what to drink, and what to abstain from taking into our systems. We should become acquainted with the physiology of the human system, and live in accordance with the laws that govern our bodies, that our days may be long in the land which the Lord our God has given us. And in order to fully comprehend ourselves we must study from the best books, and also by faith. And then let education be fostered and encouraged in our midst . . . (89).

      We should be acquainted with all things, should obtain intelligence both by faith and by study. We are instructed to gather it out of the best books, and become acquainted with governments, nations, and laws. The elders of this church have need to study these things, that when they go to the nations, they may not wish to return home before they have accomplished a good work . . .

      . . . we ought to foster education and intelligence of every kind; cultivate literary tastes, and men of literary and scientific talent should improve that talent, and all should magnify the gifts which God has given unto them. Educate your children, and seek for those to teach them to have faith in God and in his promises, as well as intelligence. . . . if there is anything good and praiseworthy in morals, religions, science, or anything calculated to exalt and ennoble man, we are after it. . . . (95).

    • From "The BYU Experience," Gordon B. Hinckley, Devotional Address, November 4, 1997:

      He [my father] was an educator. He was a successful businessman. He presided over the largest stake in the Church, with more than 15,000 members. He served as a mission president and in many other capacities. And now he was retired, and he sat on his wall. He was a great reader with a wonderful library. He was an excellent speaker and writer. Almost to the time he died, just short of the age of 94, he read and wrote and contemplated the knowledge that had come to him.

      I discovered that when he sat on the wall, hours at a time on a warm day, he would reflect on the things he had read from his library.

      I think he grew old gracefully and wonderfully. He had his books with the precious treasures they contained of the thoughts of great men and women of all the ages of time. He never ceased to learn. As he sat on the wall he thought deeply of what he had read the night before. He acquired the habit as a student here under Dr. Maeser. It was part of his BYU experience.

      At times I almost envy him: time to read and time to ponder. What a blessing. He reminded me of leaves on the trees. When autumn comes with killing frost, the leaves change their color, and they give off a new beauty until they eventually drop to form a carpet on the ground.

      Now, you are young, and why am I telling you of an old man and the wall on which he sat? I am telling you because I think it has a lesson for each of us. We must never cease to learn. We believe in eternal progression and that this life is a part of eternity to be profitably lived until the very end.

      Now, my dear young friends, I have talked with you about the BYU experience as I sense it. I have spoken of a few of many things that are a part of it. It has or will become a part of you. You are involved in it. You are going through it. It should--it must--leave an everlasting impression upon you. It is scarcely perceptible most of the time. But it is nonetheless real. It should become an inseparable part of your very nature, something almost intangible but of great substance.

    • From "Identity; Priority; and Blessings," Russell M. Nelson, Devotional Address Sept. 10, 2000:

      President Hinckley also said, "In the process of educating your minds, stir within yourselves a greater sensitivity to the beautiful, the artistic, and the cultivation of the talent you possess, be it large or small." ("Rise to the Stature of the Divine Within You," Ensign, November 1989, 96)

      From Spencer W. Kimball, Education for Eternity:

      The uniqueness of Brigham Young University lies in its special role - education for eternity - which it must carry in addition to the usual tasks of a university. This means concern - curricular and behavioral - not only for the "whole man," but also for the "eternal man." [Spencer W. Kimball, "Education for Eternity," reprinted in "Climbing the Hills Just Ahead: Three Addresses," Educating Zion, pp. 4344]

    • From Spencer W. Kimball, Education for Eternity:
      The uniqueness of Brigham Young University lies in its special role—education for eternity—which it must carry in addition to the usual tasks of a university. This means concern—curricular and behavioral—not only for the "whole man," but also for the "eternal man." [Spencer W. Kimball, "Education for Eternity," reprinted in "Climbing the Hills Just Ahead: Three Addresses," Educating Zion, pp. 4344]
    • From "Learning for Eternity," James E. Faust, Devotional Address, Nov 18, 1997:
      Learning and education have always been the hallmark of our people. Every president of the Church, beginning with President Joseph Smith, has zealously fostered, encouraged, and supported the cause of education. The reason for this emphasis is that education equates with our eternal well-being. In a First Presidency message dated March 26, 1907, the Brethren said:

      "To the Latter-day Saints, salvation itself, under the atonement of Christ, is a process of education. That knowledge is a means of eternal progress, was taught by Joseph Smith:--It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.--A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge.--The glory of God is intelligence." [Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, comp. James R. Clark (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1970), 4:14647]

    • From Teachings of Lorenzo Snow:
      The whole idea of Mormonism is improvement--mentally, physically, morally, and spiritually. No half-way education suffices for the Latter-day Saint. He holds with Herbert Spencer that the function of education is to "prepare man for complete living," but he also maintains that "complete living" should be interpreted "life here and hereafter." Joseph Smith declared that the glory of God is intelligence, that a man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, and that whatever principles of intelligence he attains to in this life, they will rise with him in the resurrection, giving him the advantage over ignorance and evil in the world to come. He taught that man by constantly progressing may eventually develop into a divine being, like unto his Father in Heaven. [Teachings of Lorenzo Snow (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1984), p. 27]
    • From the New Era:
      BYU offers a breadth of total learning experiences. That is to say, it offers development of the whole person, intellectually, socially, physically, and spiritually, approaching the study of man from the viewpoint of the only church in the world that really knows what and who man is.

      President Oaks emphasizes the importance of breadth and balance in a student's life:

      'A university like BYU is like a smorgasbord of delicious foods, and the student passes along that smorgasbord with his plate. His plate represents the amount of time he has. And if he's foolish he takes the first item that he finds that he likes-maybe it's black olives-and he loads his entire plate with it, and then doesn't have room for anything else. That's like the student who spends an entire semester skiing. That's a mistake, but the student is free to do it. There's nobody standing there to prevent him from doing that. But what's the purpose of going to a smorgasbord if you're just going to eat black olives, or anchovies or meat balls, or whatever? The glory of the diverse group of educational possibilities we call a university is its variety and the opportunity to educate the whole man and to give breadth, to cultivate a taste, and to give the kind of nourishment that comes from a wide variety of foods. But the student has got to take the initiative and use the good judgment to sample and get a variety of foods on his plate-a variety of courses under his belt.'

      In spite of the universality of BYU's objectives, the principal emphasis is clearly on academics. President Oaks feels that the greatest danger of imbalance is that students will overemphasize social life or some other peripheral concern at the expense of education. "There's no justification for a university," he says, "if it does not promote the growth of the intellect. You can have spiritual growth on a mission or in Church activities at home; you can have cultural growth by a lot of extracurricular activities that a well-motivated, well-informed person can do on his own; you can have physical growth by a regular exercise program at home. All of these are part of college life. They're what we encourage all our students to have. But the reason for our existence as an institution, the reason the Church expends enormous resources at BYU is to promote the growth of the intellect-the conferring of an education. Students who are thinking of coming to Brigham Young University primarily for anything other than to secure a rigorous, complete, searching, and effective education should not come. ("Brigham Young University," New Era, Oct. 1973, 13)

    • From "Temples of Learning," Merrill J. Bateman, Devotional Address Sept. 10, 2002:
      Everyone here today and everyone hearing this broadcast has been called by the Lord to a special mission. The more we know about things in heaven and in the earth, the more effective we will be in accomplishing the commission given us. The Aims of a BYU education are designed to this end. They are to increase your intellectual capacities and understandings, to enlarge you spiritually, to build your character, and to help you become lifelong learners and lifetime servants.
    • From "The Importance of Asking Questions," Cecil O. Samuelson Jr., Devotional Address Nov. 13, 2001:
      There are three great questions which in life we have over and over again to answer. Is it right or wrong? Is it true or false? Is it beautiful or ugly? Our education ought to help us to answer these questions. [Sir John Lubbock, The Use of Life (1894; reprint, Freeport, New York: Books for Libraries Press, 1972), 102-3]
    • From "Practicality of Gospel Principles," Rex D. Pinegar, Devotional Address Jun. 12, 2001:
      [Brigham Young] often spoke about the importance of education. In a conference of the Church in 1859, he said these words: "This is our labour, our business, and our calling--to grow in grace and in knowledge from day to day and from year to year" (Journal of Discourses 6:268). He urged the people to promote schools and to study and counseled school teachers to "introduce every kind of useful studies into our schools" (Journal of Discourses 12:32, misnumbered as page 407).

      Brigham Young believed that a sound, practical education was a necessary requirement for preparation not only for one's life's work but also for service to the Lord. He said every minute of every day of our lives we should strive to improve our minds. He established a school in his home for his children and then later built a schoolhouse close to the home where the children were taught the basics of education as well as manners of conduct. Following elementary education his children were encouraged and assisted in furthering their knowledge and skills in their chosen fields of study.

    • From "Learning in an Eternal Context," Lynne E. Garner, Devotional Address Jun. 5, 2001:
      So why are we studying at a university, where much of our aim is to master the learning of the world? Remember that much of what we learn about secular things turns out not to be entirely accurate before long. Sometimes what you need to know and what you have worked so hard to master hardly lasts long enough to get you that first job. An acquaintance of mine who operates a private employment service says that, according to their statistics, a person can expect to have at least four different careers and 11 different jobs in a normal working lifetime. If a major aim of education is to prepare you for a job, how can it happen if the job you will have in 10 years does not yet exist?

      I think the major role of a formal education is actually to teach us how to learn. This can be broken into several parts, including

      1. to teach us how to communicate,
      2. to teach us the skills of learning,
      3. to inform us about how much there is to know, and
      4. to give us the desire to learn.

      First, at the university we refine the skills of oral and written communication, of qualitative and quantitative description, of reasoning, and of making understanding achievable.

      Second, we gain practical skills in discovering worthwhile sources of information, gathering information, organizing knowledge into manageable structures, and preparing to use the knowledge we gain. We strengthen our resolve, our diligence, and our obedience by going through what must be done to gain knowledge. We learn self-discipline, which enables us to do whatever life asks of us.

      Third, the university effectively teaches us how much there is to know by requiring us to sample widely in a general education program. Will Durant said, "Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance" ("Teachers: The Essence of the Centuries," Education, Time, 13 August 1965, 48). We don't know how much we don't know until we know something. As former BYU academic vice president Eliot Butler once said:

      For example, one who has never heard of ancient Greek civilization can have no concept of the extent of his ignorance of that subject. One who knows nothing of calculus cannot begin to appreciate how ignorant he is of the possibilities of reasoning, order, logic, and complex problem-solving offered by that area of mathematics. [Eliot Butler, "Everybody Is Ignorant, Only on Different Subjects," BYU Studies 17, no. 3 (spring 1977): 281]

      It is only as we come to know a little that we glimpse the vast extent of what we may yet learn.

      Recognition of our relative ignorance also serves to keep us humble. Remember Jacob's lament: "O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned, they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God" (2 Nephi 9:28). It is this foolishness that leads to so-called intellectual apostasy. Recognizing how little we really know keeps us relying on the Lord.

      Fourth, the desire to learn comes from several sources. The general education program whets our appetites for learning by showing us what may be learned. Teacher-scholars who are excited about their fields of study catch us up in the excitement of their learning when they share their knowledge and enthusiasm with us. As we continue to study the revealed word and learn the purposes of this life, we come to value learning for its own sake--that is, for the knowledge and experience it gives us--as well as for use in building the kingdom of God.

    • From "Building Your Future," Earl M. Woolley, Devotional Address Oct. 3, 2000:

      Every accomplishment, every polished grace, every useful attainment in mathematics, music, and in all science and art belong to the Saints, and they should avail themselves as expeditiously as possible of the wealth of knowledge the sciences offer to every diligent and persevering scholar. [Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 10:224]

      We might ask, when shall we cease to learn? I will give you my opinion about it; never, never. . . .

      We shall never cease to learn, unless we apostatize from the religion of Jesus Christ. [Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 3:203]

      True education seeks to make men and women not only good mathematicians, proficient linguists, profound scientists, or brilliant literary lights, but also honest men with virtue, temperance, and brotherly love. [David O. McKay, "Why Education?" Improvement Era, September 1967, 3]

      It is my observation that those who make the most of the new discoveries in the sciences or who create new applications in technology do so from the basis of a sound understanding of the fundamental principles of those sciences or technology. I believe that this is also true in nearly any area that might be considered. Thus it seems wise for us to try to understand--not just to study, not just to get a grade in, not just to get a degree in, not just to have experience with--the important foundational principles in any field we either choose or are asked to pursue. I urge you as students to avoid those behaviors and shortcuts that yield only immediate short-term results and that would encourage you to merely "get through" your university experience. Do not compromise your future capability and productivity by losing sight of your goal that you are here to learn and to really understand both spiritual and academic matters. I urge you to build your future on the rock of the Savior and on the foundation of knowledge and understanding of truth.

      Consider the words of Brigham Young on the matter of education in the following three statements. "A firm, unchangeable course of righteousness through life is what secures to a person true intelligence" (Journal of Discourses 8:32). "Our education should be such as to improve our minds and fit us for increased usefulness; to make us of greater service to the human family" (Journal of Discourses 14:83). "Education is a good thing, and blessed is the man who has it, and can use it for the dissemination of the Gospel without being puffed up with pride" (Journal of Discourses 11:214).

    • From "Tapestry of Life," Merrill Bateman, Devotional Address Sept. 19, 2000:
      Get all the education you can. . . . I do not care what you want to be as long as it is honorable. A car mechanic, a brick layer, a plumber, an electrician, a doctor, a lawyer. . . . But whatever you are, take the opportunity to train for it and make the best of that opportunity. . . . Now is the great day of preparation for each of you. [Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, 172]
    • From "The Disciple-Scholar" by Elder Neal A. Maxwell, in On Becoming a Disciple-Scholar, ed. Henry B. Eyring [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1995], 7).
      From "The Disciple-Scholar" by Elder Neal A. Maxwell, in On Becoming a Disciple-Scholar, ed. Henry B. Eyring [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1995], 7). For a disciple of Jesus Christ, academic scholarship is a form of worship. It is actually another dimension of consecration. Hence one who seeks to be a disciple-scholar will take both scholarship and discipleship seriously; and, likewise, gospel covenants. For the disciple-scholar, the first and second great commandments frame and prioritize life.
    • From Larry H. Peer, Beethoven's Kiss: On the Odd Reasons for Brigham Young's Excellent University:

      . . .the intellectual integrity which can only come through a broad and intense general education, must be the primary academic mission of the institution. General education excellence at the university is its main goal, the primary concern of its faculty and use of faculty time and resources and, along with testimony building, the litmus test of our right to be called "the Lord's university." At a university, pursuing a fine major without pursuing an exceptionally fine general education is a fraud, and turns out, in the long run, to be pernicious. . . . The essential, indispensable means to education is literacy. Not the mere functional literacy of the ability to read and write, but the high literacy of precision and range in thinking and expression. Great teachers do not tolerate the least technical flaw in students' expression, and neither do superior students. Here is the reason why. A mutual relationship exists between language and thought. It is a relationship that is often recognized but more often ignored. George Orwell once observed that "language becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, (and) the slovenliness of our language makes it easier to have foolish thoughts." [Orwell, "Politics and the English Language," Horizon (April 1946)]

  • Statements from Other Institutions of Higher Education

    • From Ronald Crane, The Aims of Education:

      Forming or developing what may be called basic intellectual habits - basic in the sense of being fundamental to all more advanced and specialized intellectual effort whether within the University or without. The ability to see problems, to define terms accurately and clearly, to analyze a question into its significant elements, to become aware of general assumptions and preconceptions upon which one's own thinking and that of others rests, to make relevant and useful distinctions, to weigh probabilities, to organize the results of one's own reflections and research, to read a book of whatever sort reflectively, analytically, critically, to write one's native language with clarity and distinction - the development of these powers . would seem to me to be no less the business of 'General Education' than the communication and testing of knowledge, and I am not sure that they are not, in the long run, the most important and valuable fruits of a well-considered 'General Education'" (Ronald Crane, The Aims of Education, September 19, 1999)

    • From the Chronicle of Higher Education:

      Education is about the improvement of the individual, not about training for the work force. It is just that educated people generally do better in the work force. The abilities to understand, interpret, evaluate, and create are not the same as being trained to perform a series of tasks structured by someone else. (Robert Bruen, Manager, Computer Facilities MIT, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 21, 1995)

    • From Students in the Balance:

      By teaching our students how to reason, how to read, how to solve problems, how to make connections, we have faith that the end result is a more enlightened, more engaged, more tolerant, more interesting human being and ultimately a more humane society . . .

      General Education is one way in which research universities act on their concern for the intellectual development that liberates students from narrow thinking and thoughtless acceptance of what other claim as true of just or right. . .

      It should also be concerned with cultivating intellectual curiosity, the broad critical skills necessary to recognize excellence in any field, and an appreciation of complexity and esteem for multiple points of view. . .

      In helping students to become broadly informed, skilled in analyzing issues and arguments, and able to communicate ideas, General Education serves the goal of graduating citizens who can better exercise their democratic rights and responsibilities in a manner that is thoughtful and competent. . . (The Penn State Symposium on General Education, Students in the Balance: General Education in a Research University, Penn. State, 2002.)

    • From The Value of a Liberal Education:

      A person with a well-trained intellect is a useful person, socially and in every other way. Such persons raise the intellectual tone of society, cultivate taste, public spiritedness, give enlargement and sobriety to the ideas of an age, and refine private life. The kind of education a university should provide is the education which gives a man a clear conscious view of his own opinions and judgments, a truth in developing them, an eloquence in expressing them, and a force in urging them. It teaches him to see things as they are, to go right to the point, to disentangle a skein of thought, to detect what is sophistical and to discard what is irrelevant. It prepares him to fill any post with credit, and to master any subject with facility. It shows him how to accommodate himself to others, . . . how to influence them, how to come to an understanding with them, how to bear with them. He is at home in any society, he has common ground with every class; he knows when to speak and when to be silent; he is able to converse, he is able to listen; he can ask a question pertinently and gain a lesson seasonably, when he has nothing to impart himself; he is every ready, yet never in the way; he is a pleasant companion, and a comrade you can depend upon; he knows when to be serious and when to trifle, and he has a sure tact which enables him to trifle with gracefulness and to be serious with effect . . . . He has a gift which serves him in public and supports him in retirement, without which good fortune is but vulgar and with which failure and disappointment have a charm. The art which tends to make a man all this, is in the object which it pursues as useful as the art of wealth or the art of health. (John Henry Newman, The Idea of a University)

    • Other Quotes:

      "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." W.B. Yeats

      "One should guard against preaching to young people success in the customary form as the main aim in life. The most important motive for work in school and in life is pleasure in work, pleasure in its result, and the knowledge of the value of the result to the community." Albert Einstein, On Education

      "The very spring and root of honesty and virtue lie in good education." Plutarch, Morals

      "The test and use of a man's education is that he finds pleasure in the exercise of his mind." Jacques Barzun

      "The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think--rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men." Bill Beattie

      "Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer; into a selflessness which links us with all humanity." Nancy Astor

      "The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet." Aristotle

      "Only the educated are free." Epictetus

      "Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one." Malcolm Forbes

      "The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards." Anatole France

      "Genius without education is like silver in the mine." Ben Franklin

      "Education would be much more effective if its purpose was to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they do not know, and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it." Sir William Haley

      "A liberally educated person meets new ideas with curiosity and fascination. An illiberally educated person meets new ideas with fear." James B. Stockdale

      "Education is not the answer to the question. Education is the means to the answer to all questions." William Allin

      "Education makes people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave." Henry Peter Broughan

      "As the soil, however rich it may be, cannot be productive without cultivation, so the mind without culture can never produce good fruit." Seneca (B.C. 3-65 A.D.)

      "It's not that I'm so smart it's just that I stay with problems longer." Albert Einstein

      "Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere." Chinese Proverb