Inspiring Quotes on Child Learning and Development

Inspiring Quotes on Child Learning and Development

“Children are not things to be molded, but are people to be unfolded.” ~ Jess LairClick To Tweet

For many years I have been a collector of quotes. I love how they convey so much in so few words. Since I began leading keynotes and playshops for teachers and child care professionals, I have grown a particular fondness for quotes on child learning and development. Below is a list of my favourites (and I have snuck in a few of my own quotes). I hope they inspire you to engage the heart and mind of children in loving and playful ways.

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Check out Vince’s book: Let the Fire Burn ~ Nurturing the Creative Spirit of Children, A Children’s Book for Adults

Related reading:
Playful Quotes for the Child in your Heart
Inspiring Quotes to Ignite Imagination, Wonder and Laughter
Inspiring, Troubling and More: Research and Stories on Child Learning and Development

For more inspiring articles, research, tips and tools, subscribe to Vince’s free e-newsletter.

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“The word ‘education’ comes from the Latin ‘educere’ = e- (out of) + -ducere (to draw). Education is not just about putting information in. We have forgotten that it, in fact, begins in the child’s heart.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“By education I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in the child and man; body, mind and spirit.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.” ~ Stacia Tauscher

“Kids don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.” ~ Jim Henson

“Teaching is not about answering questions but about raising questions – opening doors for them in places that they could not imagine.” ~ Yawar Baig

“A child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.” ~ Pablo Casals

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults.” ~ F. Douglas

“To take children seriously is to value them for who they are right now rather than adults-in-the-making.” ~ Alfie Kohn

“Every day, in a 100 small ways, our children ask, ‘Do you hear me? Do you see me? Do I matter?’ Their behavior often reflects our response.” ~ L.R. Knost

“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.” ~ Paulo Coelho

“You cannot make people learn. You can only provide the right conditions for learning to happen.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“Love is the supreme form of communication.
In the hierarchy of needs, love stands as the supreme developing 
agent of the humanity of the person. As such, the teaching of love 
should be the central core of all early childhood curriculum
 with all other subjects growing naturally out of such teaching.”
~ Ashley Montagu

“Remember: everyone in the classroom has a story that leads to misbehavior or defiance. 9 times out of 10, the story behind the misbehavior won’t make you angry. It will break your heart.” ~ Annette Breaux

“I really love being human. But some days I really wish I could be fairy.” ~ Greta, age 4

“The work of education is divided between the teacher and the environment.” ~ Maria Montessori

“If children feel safe, they can take risks, ask questions, make mistakes, learn to trust, share their feelings, and grow.” ~ Alfie Kohn

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” ~ William Butler Yeats

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Children have real understanding only of that which they invent themselves.” ~ Jean Piaget

“Encouraging a child means that one or more of the following critical life messages are coming through, either by word or by action: I believe in you, I trust you, I know you can handle this, You are listened to, You are cared for, You are very important to me.” ~ Barbara Coloroso

“If you trust play, you will not have to control your child’s development as much. Play will raise the child in ways you can never imagine.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“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

“The trouble with over-structuring is that it discourages exploration.” ~ Jay Giedd, Neuroscientist, University of California

“Let the child be the scriptwriter, the director and the actor in his own play.” ~ Magda Gerber

“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn. ” ~ O. Fred Donaldson

“Since the jobs that our preschoolers will do probably don’t exist yet, our priority is to teach them the skills to adapt and inquire and question and cooperate…life skills. So much more useful than rigid concepts such as the alphabet.” ~ Caroline Bellouse

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” ~ Albert Einstein

“Play is the shortest route between children and their creative calling.” ~ Vince GowmonClick To Tweet

“When you are born into a world where you don’t fit in, it’s because you were born to help create a new one.” ~ Anonymous

“Anything you can teach in an indoor classroom can be taught outdoors, often in ways that are more enjoyable for children.” ~ Cathy James

“The more risks you allow your children to make, the better they learn to look after themselves.” ~ Roald Dahl

“Putting your students’ emotional needs first is important because without feeling safe and understood, no instructional strategy will be effective.” ~ Jasper Fox, Sr.

“A spirited, unruly student is preferable. It’s much easier to direct passion than to try and inspire it.” ~ Joan Desmond

“Be sure that in your educating you are not manufacturing obedient citizens, but rather unleashing powerful, creative souls.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“For a small child there is no division between playing and learning; between the things he or she does ‘just for fun’ and things that are ‘educational.’ The child learns while living and any part of living that is enjoyable is also play.” ~ Penelope Leach

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” ~ Mother Teresa

“We are raised in a culture that values expertise over exploration.” ~ Nina Wise

“Kids deserve the right to think that they can change the world.” ~ Lois Lowry

“Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners, and the love of bringing the first two loves together.” ~ Scott Hayden

“Our children should be properly introduced to the world in which they live.” ~ Thomas Berry

“They more you teach / push those things that can be measured, the more kids will grow up feeling like they don’t measure up.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“Children more than ever, need opportunities to be in their bodies in the world – jumping rope, bicycling, stream hopping, and fort building. It’s this engagement between limbs of the body and bones of the earth where true balance and centeredness emerge.” ~ David Sobel

“If we want our children to move mountains, we first have to let them get out of their chairs.” ~ Nicolette Sowder

“I believe that to teach them effectively you must touch their hearts long before you begin to teach their minds” ~ Vicki Savini, from Ignite The Light

“I keep trying to convey the pleasure every parent and teacher could feel while observing, appreciating and enjoying what the infant is doing. This attitude would change our educational climate from worry to joy. Can anybody argue about the benefits for a child who is appreciated and enjoyed for what she can do and does naturally? …I believe this issue is so basic, so important, that it cannot be overstated.” ~ Magda Gerber

“If we love our children and want them to thrive, we must allow them more time and opportunity to play, not less. Yet policymakers and powerful philanthropists are continuing to push us in the opposite direction — toward more schooling, more testing, more adult direction of children, and less opportunity for free play.” ~ Dr. Peter Gray

“In this modern world where activity is stressed to the point of mania, quietness as a childhood need is too often overlooked.” ~ Margaret Wise Brown

“When we give children advice or instant solutions, we deprive them of the experience that comes from wrestling with their own problems.” ~ Adele Faber

“Too much leading and we create anxiety for children. Too much following and the same is true. In wisdom we find balance between the two.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“If we taught babies to talk as most skills are taught in school, they would memorize lists of sounds in a predetermined order and practice them alone in a closet.” ~ Linda Darling -Hammond

“Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.” ~ Friedrich Froebel

“With children, it is the joint moments of delight that build the social brain.” ~ Mariah Moser

“I shouldn’t have to defend play for children any more than I should have to defend their eating, sleeping, and breathing.” ~ Rae Pica

“Stand aside for a while and leave room for learning, observe carefully what children do, and then, if you have understood well, perhaps teaching will be different from before.” ~ Loris Malaguzzi

“When our little people are overwhelmed by big emotions it is our job to share our calm, not join their chaos.” ~ L.R. Knost

“So often children are punished for being human. Children are not allowed to have grumpy moods, bad days, disrespectful tones, or bad attitudes. Yet, us adults have them all the time. None of us are perfect. We must stop holding our children to a higher standard of perfection than we can attain ourselves.” ~ Rebecca Eanes

“When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out.” ~ Erma Bombeck

“No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.” ~ James Comer

“Instead of teaching children to get ‘there’, why not let them be here? Where is ‘there’ anyway? The world needs more ‘here’ than ‘there’.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“Ask any child development expert, and they will tell you that children do not develop in a straight line. There are no average children. There are no standard children.” ~ Cassi Clausen

“The activities that are the easiest, cheapest, and most fun to do – such as singing, playing games, reading, storytelling, and just talking and listening – are also the best for child development.” ~ Jerome Singer

“While it is important to educate children, what is much more pressing is the need to love them. When education becomes more important than love, it is no longer education at all. For, tending to the delicate spirit of children is foundational if education is to fulfill its intended purpose of serving the greater whole.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.” ~ Rabindranath TagoreClick To Tweet

“The moment I decided to follow instead of lead, I discovered the joys of becoming part of a small child’s world.” ~ Janet Gonzalez-Mena

“It’s not so much what children learn through play, but what they won’t learn if we don’t give them the chance to play. Many functional skills like literacy and arithmetic can be learned either through play or through instruction – the issue is the amount of stress on the child. However, many coping skills like compassion, self-regulation, self-confidence, the habit of active engagement, and the motivation to learn and be literate cannot be instructed. They can only be learned through self-directed experience (i.e. play). ~ Susan J. Oliver

“Children don’t need much advice but they really do need to be listened to and not just with half an ear.” ~ Emma Thompson

“If a child is acting disruptive within the school system, don’t be too quick to assume there is something wrong with her. She simply may be doing her best to say that the system is not large enough to house the fullness of her creative spirit.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“Either we spend time meeting children’s emotional needs by filling their cup with love, or we spend time dealing with behaviors caused from their unmet needs. Either way, we spend the time.” ~ Pam Leo, Connecting Through Filling The Love Cup

“I’m more interested in arousing enthusiasm in kids than in teaching the facts. The facts may change, but that enthusiasm for exploring the world will remain with them the rest of their lives.” ~ Seymour Simon

“Everything we do as teachers must ensure that the child’s inherent desire to learn is kept alive.” ~ Robert John Meehan

“Rather than books and lectures, nature itself is children’s best teacher.” ~ Coffey

“Perhaps if tearful little boys were comforted instead of shamed there wouldn’t be so many angry men struggling to express and empathize with emotions.” ~ Lelia Scholl

“To raise a child who is comfortable enough to leave you means you’ve done your job. They are not ours to keep, but to teach how to soar on their own.” ~ Anonymous

“True play is child-initiated and child-directed. It can occur on a blank playground. It can occur with a few tires. Children can play – and do play – when all they are given is space and time.” ~ Heather Shumaker

“Remind yourself daily: While education is useful, it’s love that children and the world need. A deeply loved child with only some education will go much further than a well educated child lacking love.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“Close observation of children at play suggests that they find out about the world in the same way as scientists find out about new phenonoma and test new ideas…during this exploration, all the senses are used to observe and draw conclusions about objects and events through simple, if crude, scientific investigations.” ~ Judith Roden

“If a child is poor in math but good at tennis, most people would hire a math tutor.  I would rather hire a tennis coach.” ~ Deepak Chopra

“Children don’t know how to ask for what they don’t know they need. Their asking comes in the form of behaviour.” ~ Bonnie Harris

“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

“Schooling prepares children for jobs, yet getting a job is not what life is about. Life exists in the space between all we deem important.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“The people who are horrified by the idea of children learning what they want to learn when they want to learn it have not accepted the very elementary psychological fact that people (all people, of every age) remember the things that are important to them – the things they need to know – and forget the rest.” ~ Daniel Quinn

“It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.” ~ Leo Buscaglia

“To give a child a mechanical toy is equivalent to playing for him” ~ Walter Wood

“Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best.” ~ Bob Talbert

“Trust children. Nothing could be more simple, or more difficult. Difficult because to trust children we must first learn to trust ourselves, and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted.” ~ John Holt

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” ~ Mark Van Doren

“The soul is healed by being with children.” ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“Do not train children to learn by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.” ~ Plato

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” ~ Henry Adams

“The best education does not happen at a desk, but rather engaged in everyday living – hands on, exploring, in active relationship with life.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“Kids bullied into obeying parents and teachers may resist – not because they’re ‘hard to handle’ but because they’ve been treated as a thing to be handled.” ~ Alfie Kohn

“Learning is a result of listening, which in turn leads to even better listening and attentiveness to the other person. In other words, to learn from the child, we must have empathy, and empathy grows as we learn.” ~Alice Miller

“A lot of what we do with children is well intentioned interference.” ~ Niki Buchan

“The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.” ~ Alexandra K. Trenfor

“Strong-willed children become adults who change the world as long as can hang on for the ride and resist the temptation to ‘tame’ the spirit out of them.” ~ Sarah Stogryn

“Those things you learn without joy you will forget easily.” ~ Finnish saying

“Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives.” ~ Thomas Berry

“If the child is not learning the way you are teaching, then you must teach in the way the child learns” ~ Rita Dunn

“Discipline is helping a child solve a problem. Punishment is making a child suffer for having a problem. To raise problem solvers, focus on solutions, not retribution.” ~ L.R. Knost

“Give children toys that are powered by their imagination, not by batteries.” ~ H. Jackson BrownClick To Tweet

“When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments – tenderness for what he is and respect for what he may become.” ~ Louis Pasteur

“If we want children to become creative leaders then we must learn to follow their lead at an early age.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.” ~ William Arthur Ward

“We see how early childhood experiences are so important to lifelong outcomes, how the early environment literally becomes embedded in the brain and changes its architecture.” ~ Andrew S. Garner

“I’ve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.” ~ Haim G. Ginott

“What we are teaches the child far more than what we say, so we must be what we want our children to become.” ~ Joseph Chilton Pearce

“It is vital that when educating our children’s brains we do not neglect to educate their hearts.” ~ Dalai Lama

“A child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.” ~ Casals

“These people have learned not from books, but in the fields, in the wood, on the river bank.” ~ Anton Chekhov

“A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge and wisdom in the pupils.” ~ Ever Garrison

“The best way to preserve a child’s vision is to let them see things their way rather than yours.” Jacob Liberman, Wisdom from an Empty Mind

“We have forgotten that children are designed by nature to learn through self-directed play and exploration, and so, more and more, we deprive them of freedom to learn.” ~ Peter O. Gray

“This then is the first duty of an educator: to stir up life but leave it free to develop.” ~ Maria Montessori

“The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility—these three forces are the very nerve of education.” ~ Rudolf Steiner

“We are raised in a culture that values expertise over exploration.” ~ Nina Wise

“Children learn and listen more willingly when they are met with kindness, empathy and patience; when their core need for connection or attachment is met.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“As with everything else about children’s behavior, there’s nothing like a good role model. If you value play, your child will, too.” ~ Madeline Levine

“You don’t remember the times your dad held your handle bars. You remember the day he let go.” ~ Lenore Skenazy

“Movement is the door to learning.” ~ Paul E. Dennison

“Children understand and remember concepts best when they learn from direct personal experience.” ~ Joseph Cornell

“So often, children are punished for being human. Children are not allowed to have grumpy moods, bad days, disrespectful tones, or bad attitudes, yet we adults have them all the time! We think if we don’t nip it in the bud, it will escalate and we will lose control. Let go of that unfounded fear and give your child permission to be human. We all have days like that. None of us are perfect, and we must stop holding our children to a higher standard of perfection than we can attain ourselves. All of the punishments you could throw at them will not stamp out their humanity, for to err is human, and we all do it sometimes.” ~ Rebecca Eanes, The Newbie’s Guide to Positive Parenting

“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” ~ Maya Angelou

“Rushing children’s development is a formula for turning them into who they are not. Letting them play is a kind means of meeting them where they are and encouraging their authentic unfolding.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“Do not educate your child to be rich. Educate him to be happy, so that when he grows up he knows the value of things not the price.” ~ Unknown

“What is essential is to realize that children learn independently, not in bunches; that they learn out of interest and curiosity, not to please or appease the adults in power; and that they ought to be in control of their own learning, deciding for themselves what they want to learn and how they want to learn it.” ~ John Holt

“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.” ~ Peggy O’MaraClick To Tweet

“When we deny children play, we are denying them the right to understand the world.” ~ Erika & Nicholas Christakis

“Children always learn, but not necessarily what you want them to learn.” ~Dr.Lillian Katz, University of Illinois

“I cherish the occasions when my daughter manages to do something for the first time, or does something better than she’s ever done it before. But I try to resist the knee-jerk tendency to say, ‘Good job!’ because I don’t want to dilute her joy. I want her to share her pleasure with me, not look to me for a verdict. I want her to exclaim, ‘I did it!’ (which she often does) instead of asking me uncertainly, ‘Was that good?’ ~ Alfie Kohn

“So much developmental trauma can be avoided if we simply give children the right to exercise their natural right to play, to move, to explore the outdoors unsupervised… if we let children be children!” ~ Vince Gowmon

“Looking back, I realize that nurturing curiosity and the instinct to seek solutions are perhaps the most important contributions education can make.” ~ Paul Berg

“Children’s emotions are as real as yours. Just because they might get sad over the colour of their cup, does not make their feelings any less real.” ~ Rebekah Lipp

“Children are not the people of tomorrow, but people today. They are entitled to be taken seriously. They have a right to be treated by adults with tenderness and respect, as equals.” ~ Janusz Korczak

“Grown men can learn from very little children, for the hearts of little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show them many things that older people miss.” ~ Black Elk

“It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.” ~Eugene Ionesco

“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” ~ Charles R. Swindoll

“All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants” ~ J.W. Gardner

“Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree.” ~ Marian Wright Edelman

“Don’t educate a child to become something or someone, educate to help them explore and celebrate who they already are.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children.” ~ Kofi Annan

“Asking kids to meet target on standardized tests is like making them meet a sales quota. Our kids are not commodities.” ~ K.L. Nielsen

“Children cannot bounce off the walls if we take away the walls.” ~ Erin Kenny

“The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.” ~ Maria Montessori

“There can never be too much nature inside a classroom. It is the antidote to the fast-paced, stressful world in which many young children live. Equally important, it encourages an appreciation of the natural world on which we depend.” ~ Condie Ward

“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.” ~ L.R. Knost

“Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold.” ~ Joseph Chilton Pearce, Contemporary American scholar

“Parenthood is about raising and celebrating the child you have, not the child you thought you’d have. It’s about understanding your child is exactly the person they are supposed to be. And, if you’re lucky, they might be the teacher who turns you into the person you’re supposed to be.” ~ Unknown

“Teaching is learning. They are inseparable. The humility of a teacher is born when this is realized. Only then does teaching really begin.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“A baby is born with a need to be loved – and never outgrows it.” ~ Frank A. Clark

“Children learn how to make good decisions by making decisions, not by following directions.” ~Alfie Kohn

“We keep thinking as adults that we need to control the way they do things. I wish we’d get out of that. They know how to play, they know how to structure their own play – they need that time to grow responsibly.” ~ Debbie Rhea

“The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six.” ~ Maria Montessori

“Children come into the world exquisitely designed, and strongly motivated, to educate themselves. They don’t need to be forced to learn; in fact, coercion undermines their natural desire to learn.” ~ Peter Gray

“Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.” ~ W.E.B. DuBoisClick To Tweet

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.” ~ Yoda

“The real magic wand is the child’s own mind.” ~ Jose Ortega y Gasset

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” ~ Picasso

“It is not intellect but rather imagination that is the source of creativity. What if imagination was nurtured as much if not more in school?” ~ Vince Gowmon

“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.” ~ Lily Tomlin

“Good teachers are those who know how little they know. Bad teachers are those who think they know more than they don’t know.” ~ R. Verdi

“An environmental-based education movement—at all levels of education—will help students realize that school isn’t supposed to be a polite form of incarceration but a portal to the wider world.” ~ Richard Louv

“The ultimate gift we can give the world is to grow our tiny humans into adult humans who are independent thinkers, compassionate doers, conscious questioners, radical innovators, and passionate peacemakers. Our world doesn’t need more adults who blindly serve the powerful because they’ve been trained to obey authority without question. Our world needs more adults who challenge and question and hold the powerful accountable.” ~ L.R. Knost

“If it hasn’t been in the hand and body, it can’t be in the brain.” ~ Bev Bos

“If we want children to play BIG in the world, then let’s let them play in small ways to start.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“Movement isn’t a break from learning; movement is learning, and the opportunities for thoughtful exploration in the classroom are endless.” ~ Aleta Margolis

“Teach children what to think and you limit them to your ideas. Teach children how to think and their ideas are unlimited.” ~ Sandra Parks

“A child learns when time. Some want to read at age three and some don’t care until age eight. There is no right or wrong way, no best timeline. If a child shows no interest in reading or math, it’s because he or she has something far more important to explore.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“The secret in education lies in respecting the student.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“When children pretend, they’re using their imaginations to move beyond the bounds of reality. A stick can be a magic wand. A sock can be a puppet. A small child can be a superhero.” ~ Fred Rogers

“It is in playing, and only in playing, that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self.” ~ D.W. Winnicott, British pediatrician

“To effectively teach a child one must reach the child in mind-body-heart, not just intellect, not just the linear-left brain we make such a priority.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“Watching a child makes it obvious that the development of his mind comes through his movements.” ~ Maria Montessori

“It is not attention that the child is seeking, but love.” ~ Sigmund Freud

“Are we forming children who are only capable of learning what is known, or should we try to develop creative and innovative minds?” ~ Jean Piaget

“We learn to do something by doing it. There is no other way.” ~ John Holt

“Explain to me again: how come we treat reading and mathematics as more important than learning to get along with one another?” ~ Pennie Brownlee

“Classroom management is not about having the right rules… it’s about having the right relationships.” ~ @SteeleThoughts

“So you pull me from my play, my all consuming play to learn maths with brightly coloured bits of plastic. Whilst I sit there learning with you, all I can think about is getting back to my play… my all consuming play where I was measuring, using shapes, making patterns, counting, solving problems and THINKING – until I got pulled away to come and learn maths with you.” ~ Elaine Bennett

“The more adults turn play into a project, the more it loses its very essence. The gifts derived from play are suffocated by unnecessary structure and hovering, leaving little room for the child to learn, develop and enjoy his or her explorations.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“When you teach a child something, you take away forever the chance for him to discover it himself.” ~ John Piaget

“Deep meaning lies often in childish play.” ~ Johann Friedrich von Schiller

“Do not…keep children to their studies by compulsion but by play.” ~ Plato

“Learning is alive when experiential, relevant and joyful. It is all but dead when limited to disassociated rationale and sedentariness.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs… since the payment is pure love.” ~ Mildred B. Vermont

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” ~ Angela Schwindt

“To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.” ~ AnonymousClick To Tweet

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Children dance before they know there is anything that isn’t music.” ~ William Stafford

“The art of teaching lies in knowing the balance between structure and flow, telling and asking, speaking and silence.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“Children first realize they can make a difference when parents listen, then respond with sensitivity.” ~ Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer

“Children remind us to treasure the smallest of gifts, even in the most difficult of times.” ~ Allen Klein

“You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.” ~ Clay P. Bedford

“The best teacher of children, in brief, is one who is essentially childlike.” ~ H. L. Mencken

“Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.” ~ Kay Redfield Jamison

“The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore

“A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child.” ~ Knights of Pythagoras

“The teacher and the taught create the teaching.” ~ Ancient Eastern saying

“Stop trying to turn children into someone they are not. Instead, let them unfold into who no human can imagine them to be.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings.” ~ Carl Jung

“Your image of the child is where teaching begins.” ~ Loris Malaguzzi

“Learning and teaching should not stand on opposite banks and just watch the river flow by; instead, they should embark together on a journey down the water. Through an active, reciprocal exchange, teaching can strengthen learning how to learn.” ~ Loris Malaguzzi

“Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me, and be my friend.” ~ Albert Camus

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own” Benjamin Disraeli

“A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow.” ~ Charles Brower

“Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.” ~ Tom Robbins, novelist

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou

“Structure is akin to a fence surrounding a playground. While it is needed, if it is too close, it will stifle exploration and learning.” ~ Vince Gowmon

“Learning is not a spectator sport.” ~ D. Blocher

“When one teaches, two learn.” ~ Robert Heinlein

“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” ~ Robert Fulghum

“Please excuse the mess, children are making memories.” ~ AnonymousClick To Tweet

On Children
by Kahlil Gibran, from his beautiful book The Prophet 

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
and though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
for they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you,
for life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

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17 Comments

  1. I read too many quotes on different website, but these quotes really touch my heart, also the collection is huge, and almonst all quotes are new for me. so i am really much motivated. thank you for sharing these amazing quotes

  2. Filling your little one’s world with healing music that promotes celebrating individuality and uniqueness provides positive, upbeat and supportive messages during their formative years. It can be a fun way to establish worth and love into your little one’s sense of self, which in turn helps them to be more aware of the worth and love in others.

  3. Amazing ! to make learning interesting is really important for growing baby. Otherwise baby don’t try to learn.Thanks for such a clever ideas learning tools for kids.

  4. Amazing ! to make learning interesting is really important for growing baby. Otherwise baby don’t try to learn.Thanks for such a clever ideas learning tools for kids.

  5. Thank you Vince. This is awesome. I love the quotes and your articles. Well done KEEP GOING.
    Don’t stop. You have no idea the impact you are making to my life and to my children.
    I haven’t met you personally as I live in South Africa , but i sense you are a a very kind, gentle,
    loving and understanding person. It shows in your words, especially in your love for children.
    Can you imagine if parents were trained by you before having children. We all blindly have children
    because it is a normal thing to do but we have no real clue what we are doing. No wonder so many
    children are so hurt and broken. LOVE is the greatest gift you can ever give to your child.
    To all the mothers out there who cannot afford to give their children expensive food,clothing,toys, DON’T WORRY. All your child needs is Your love ,support and encouragement.

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