19 Back-to-School Quotes about Irish Education & Learning

George Bernard Shaw

I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did, it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square.
Oscar Wilde, Writer (1856-1900),
‘The Importance of Being Earnest’

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught
Oscar Wilde, Writer (1856-1900),
‘The Critic as Artist’

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education
Mark Twain (1835-1910), American writer.

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
William Butler Yeats (1865–1939) Irish poet, dramatist.

Books are but waste paper unless we spend in action the wisdom we get from thought – asleep. When we are weary of the living, we may repair to the dead, who have nothing of peevishness, pride, or design in their conversation.
William Butler Yeats (1865–1939) Irish poet, dramatist.

There’s no use saying anything in the schoolyard because there’s always someone with an answer and there’s nothing you can do but punch them in the nose and if you were to punch everyone who has an answer you’d be punching morning noon and night
Frank McCourt, Writer, (1930-2009), ‘Angela’s Ashes’

Oscar Wilde

He says, you have to study and learn so that you can make up your own mind about history and everything else but you can’t make up an empty mind. Stock your mind, stock your mind. You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.
Frank McCourt, Writer, (1930-2009), ‘Angela’s Ashes’

An Irish prayer-book is a thing which the poor [Catholic] Irish peasant has never seen. Not only has he not been taught the language which he speaks, but his clergy have never encouraged, and have sometimes forbidden him to learn it. This objection arose chiefly, I believe, from the impudent intermeddling of Bible Societies with the religion of the people. By their patronage of the Irish language, they had desecrated it in the eyes of the Irish themselves
Conor McSweeny, ‘Songs of the Irish’, 1843

…it would be the veriest mockery to say to those people – ‘Don’t speak English,
or emigrate: speak Irish, stay at home and starve, cry out yearly for doles, and
send your children picking winkles instead of being at school, and earn the
contemptuous pity of the world

Patrick Conroy, (Coimisiún na Gaeltachta, 1926)

A child miseducated is a child lost
US President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education
US President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child
George Bernard Shaw, Writer (1856-1950)

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn
Alvin Toffler, American Writer and Futurist (b. 1928)

While a significant part of learning certain comes from teaching – but good teaching and by good teachers – a major measure comes from exploration, from reinventing the wheel and finding out for oneself
Nicholas Negroponte, Founder and Director of the MIT Media Lab, (b. 1943)

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young
Henry Ford, Car Pioneer, (1863-1947(

I cherish the creation of public space and services, especially health, housing and the comprehensive education system which dared to give so many of us ideas ‘above our station
Frances O’Grady, British Trade Unionist (b. 1959)

You know there is a problem with the education system when you realize that out of the 3 R’s only one begins with an R
Dennis Miller, US Comedian (b. 1953)

by Michael Green
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