Inspirational quotes

The smaller the number of priorities, the higher the probability of impact.
Building to Impact, 2022
We don’t need schools that make kids memorize the names of planets. We need schools that inspire kids to find new planets.
Trish Flanagan, quoted in Ted Dintersmith, What School Could Be, 2018
Once you jump outside of the box, there’s endless running room.
Ted Dintersmith, What School Could Be, 2018
Good teachers introduce new thoughts, but great teachers introduce new ways of thinking.
Adam Grant, Think Again, 2021
We learn more from people who challenge our thought process than those who affirm our conclusions.
Adam Grant, Think Again, 2021
Progress is impossible without change; and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
George Bernard Shaw
The mind is not a vessel that needs filling but wood that needs igniting.
Plutarch
Definition of wisdom: Using your knowledge while doubting what you know.
Pfeffer and Sutton, quoted in Fullan and Scott, Turnaround Leadership for Higher Education, 2009
Whereas today’s schools teach children to remember known answers to known problems, students need to come up with innovative solutions to uncertain problems.
Ron Beghetto, quoted in Yong Zhao, Learners Without Borders, 2022
What we know today doesn’t make yesterday wrong, it makes tomorrow better.
Carol Commodore
Education is a conversation, not a transfusion.
Sir Ken Robinson
. . . for every complex problem, there are solutions that are clear, simple, and wrong.
G. Williamson McDiarmid and Yong Zhao, Learning for Uncertainty, 2022
Equipped with the skills to monitor their own learning, discipline-specific methods of inquiry, and basic knowledge of key information, processes, and ideas in the traditional subject matters, students can truly become the much-touted “lifelong learners” who are featured in 21st-century skills literature.
McDiarmid & Zhao, Learning for Uncertainty, 2022
The less we know about a topic, the more we may believe we know.
McDiarmid & Zhao, Learning for Uncertainty, 2022
Give children toys without batteries.
Tony Wagner, World Education Summit, 2022
The future of education is to move from seat time to mastery. Currently, a transcript is a certificate of seat time.
Tony Wagner, World Education Summit, 2022
Strive to make both yourself and your team feel safe, but not comfortable.
Julie C. Henry, Wisdom From the Wild, 2021
Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation, and Stanford Research Center conducted a study that shows 85% of job success comes from having well-developed soft skills and people skills, while only 15% of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge (or hard skills).
Julie C. Henry, Wisdom From the Wild, 2021
Powerful learning is the result of deliberate design.
Jim Short & Stephanie Hirsch, The Elements: Transforming Teaching through Curriculum-based Professional Learning, 2020
Thirty spokes join together at one hub, but it is the hole in the center that makes it operable. Clay is molded into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that makes it useful. Doors and windows are cut to make a room; it is the empty spaces that we use. Therefore, existence is what we have, but non-existence is what we use.
Laozi, quoted by Zhu Xiao-Mei in The Secret Piano, 2007
Many renowned scholars know that the most important discoveries are the result of long and in-depth study of a very specific topic. By doing so, you develop a method that can be applied to any subject.
Zhu Xiao-Mei, The Secret Piano, 2007
Through learning we re-create ourselves . . . [and] . . . we become able to do something we never were able to do. Through learning we reperceive the world and our relationship to it. Through learning we extend our capacity to create, to be part of the generative process of life . . . There is within each of us a deep hunger for this type of learning.
Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline, 1990
All of our knowledge results from questions, which is another way of saying that question asking is our most important intellectual tool.
Neil Postman, quoted in Sattes & Walsh, Leading Through Quality Questioning, 2010
The most creative and successful people tend to be expert questioners.
Warren Berger, A More Beautiful Question, 2014
With regard to the knowledge we learn in breadth, we rely always on the expertise of others; when learning in depth, we develop our own expertise.
Kieran Egan, Learning in Depth, 2010
I think people who have only the sketchiest sense of knowledge, because they know nothing in depth, easily confuse their wishes, needs, and opinions with knowledge, and in so doing create many of our most serious social and political problems.
Kieran Egan, Learning in Depth, 2010
Change must be timely to adapt to a world that is rapidly changing. But change must also be anchored in something timeless so that one is not lost in the waves of change.
Pak Tee Ng, Learning From Singapore, 2017
Education is investment, not expenditure.
Pak Tee NG, World Education Summit, 2021
Singapore changes when it is still successful. One should not wait until one has a problem before one is forced to change. One changes before one has a problem. This is the essence of timely change. Timely change occurs in anticipation of the future. It is change launched from a position of strength rather than one of desperation.
Pak Tee Ng, Learning From Singapore: The Power of Paradoxes, 2017
Good ideas fail due to poor implementation.
John Hattie, World Education Summit, 2021
Go slow to go fast.
Michael Fullan, World Education Summit, 2021
Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.
John Cotton Dana
In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.
Eric Hoffer
Every aspect of school change depends on highly skilled teachers for its success.
Linda Darling-Hammond
Our conception is that curriculum should be framed and developed in terms of worthy outputs; i.e., desired performances by the learner, not simply as a listing of content inputs.
McTighe and Wiggins, From Common Core Standards to Curriculum, 2013
The stories we tell literally make the world. If you want to change the world, you need to change your story.
Michael Margolis, quoted in Change Your World, 2021
Nothing has transformed my life more than realizing that it’s a waste of time to evaluate my worthiness by weighing the reaction of the people in the stands.
Brene Brown, quoted in Change Your World, 2021
It is our responsibility to live out what the Bible says in our days. We do this by going back so we can come forward, always proceeding into our world organically connected to what is in our past.
Scot McKnight, The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible, 2018
Life flows when we put our attention on the larger patterns of which we are a part, just as the music soars when a performer distinguishes the notes whose impulse carries the music’s structure from those that are purely decorative.
Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander, The Art of Possibility, 2000
Don’t ask a student what she wants to be when she grows up. Ask her what problem she wants to solve.
Jaime Casap, quoted by T. Vander Ark, 2017
The better questions we ask, the better the answers we get.
Legacy, by James Kerr, 2013
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Rob Siltanen (as narrated by Steve Jobs in Apple’s “Think Different” ad campaign)
If a student can easily “Google” the answer, the question isn’t very challenging.
Eric Sheninger, Disruptive Thinking, 2021
It is what we know already that often prevents us from learning.
Claude Bernard
The thicker the [strategic] plan, the less likely students are learning.
Douglas Reeves, The Learning Leader, 2006
Everything that is measurable is not important, and everything that is important is not measurable.
William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology, 1963
Schools are an essential vehicle for the expression of faith-based values and beliefs. Schools facilitate the practical delivery, acquisition, and application of knowledge through the lens of faith-based values and beliefs. Faith-based schools aren’t just creating the best engineer, they are creating the best engineer that applies that knowledge through the lens of faith-based values and beliefs. If faith-based schools cease to exist, faith as we know it will cease to exist.
Brad Geise
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
Socrates
Grasping the structure of a subject is understanding it in a way that permits many other things to be related to it meaningfully.
Jerome Bruner, The Process of Education, 1977
Practices, not programs, have the greatest impact on change.
Douglas Reeves, 100-Day Leaders, 2019
Invest in people and practices, not products and programs.
Douglas Reeves, EducationWeek Webinar, 2021
The core issue for leadership is can I improve instruction.
Douglas Reeves, EducationWeek Webinar, 2021
In high performing domains . . . people have the same maps, the same common language.
Bede Brosnahan
Never adopt a technique by its usual name . . . call it something different so that you have to think it through for yourself and work it out on your own terms.
Henry Mintzberg, The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning, 1994