"Un croquis vaut mieux qu’un long discours."
"A picture is worth a thousand words."


"The arts are an even better barometer of what is happening in our world than the stock market or the debates in congress."
Hendrik Willem Van Loon, The Arts


"Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself."
Chinese Proverb

"One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions."
Oliver Wendell Holmes

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

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

Do quick quotes and inspirational sayings help people to think about life in more interesting ways or do they “dumb down” responses to the subtlety and complexity of experience and possibilities?

To begin a class discussion, collect quotes on a topic that is relevant to students’ lives such as friends, non-conformity, ambition, or habits. Ask students to consider the initial impact of the quote. After small group or class discussion of the content, ask them to consider whether the message seems meaningful and/or useful.

A good source for quotes to begin discussions is

The site contains hundreds of quotations arranged by topic, author, or special occasions. It also has a section to help identify the source of quotations. The Links page for this site is a real find. Through it, you can connect to a number of dictionary, thesaurus, and style guide sites.