Some of My Favorite Quotations …

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure,
It is our Light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own Light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated  from our fears,
Our presence automatically liberates others

~Nelson Mandela, in his 1994 Inaugural Speech, quoted this prayer by Marianne Williamson from her book, A Return to Love


The ultimate aim of education
[must be] to take each one
out of his isolated class,
and into the one humanity.

~ Paul Goodman



You must be
true to yourself.

Strong enough to be
true to yourself.
Brave enough to be
strong enough to be
true to yourself.

Wise enough to be
brave enough to be
strong enough to
shape yourself from
what you actually are.

~ Sylvia Ashton-Warner (in Myself)


You cannot measure a love for learning or a joy of knowledge or a passion for life. You cannot measure those things with a standardized test but you can sure kill them.

~ Bill Harley, singer and poet, as quoted in NPR commentary, June 2000


The hottest spot in Hell is reserved for those who,
in time of crisis, preserve their neutrality.

~ Dante, The Divine Comedy


To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day,
to make you like everybody else, is to fight the hardest battle any human
being can fight; and never stop fighting.
~ e.e. cummings


Find out just what the people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
~ Frederick Douglass


Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be
counted counts.

~ Albert Einstein

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a
little. Do what you can.

~Sydney Smith


Democracies die behind closed doors.

~Judge Damon J. Keith


To carry feelings of childhood into the powers of adulthood,
to combine the child’s sense of wonder and novelty
with the appearances which every day for years
has rendered familiar, this is the character and privilege of genius,
and one of the marks which distinguish it from talent.
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn’t music.
~William Stafford


Art is a hammer to beat the world, not a mirror to reflect it.
~Vladimir Majakovskij


Cómo reconocer una obra de arte? ¿Cómo separarla, aunque sólo sea un momento, de su aparato crítico, de sus exégetas, de sus incansables plagiarios, de sus ninguneadores, de su final destino de soledad? Es fácil. Hay que traducirla.
~Roberto Bolaño

English translation:
How do you recognize a work of art? How can it be kept apart, even if only for a moment, from its critics, commentators, its indefatigable plagiarists, its defacers and its final destiny in solitude? Simple—just translate it.
~Roberto Bolaño, Chilean author


The probability

that we may fail

in the struggle

ought not to deter us

from the support of a cause

we believe to be just.

~Abraham Lincoln


For learning to be truly inquiry,
an audit trail must be left,
a set of research ‘vouchers’
that are open to inspection.

Key points
in the ongoing process of inquiry
must be available for scrutiny
so that others can check
and make their own judgements
about the trustworthiness of the findings
and, even more, of the conclusions.

~Whole Language Inquiring Voices
by Watson, Burke and Harste



is the antidote

to despair

~Joan Baez


I imagine that one of the reasons

people cling to their hates so

stubbornly is because they sense,
once hate is gone, that they will
be forced to deal with pain.

~James Baldwin
In Notes from a Native Son


Every second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe,
a moment that never was before and never will be again.

And what do we teach our children in school?

We teach them that two and two make four and that Paris is the capital of France.

We should say to each of them,
“Do you know who you are?
You are a marvel.
You are unique.
In the millions of years that have passed,
there has never been another child like you.”

~ Pablo Casals


It is important for pedagogy not to be the prisoner of too much
certainty, but instead to be aware of both the relativity of its powers
and the difficulties of translating its ideals into practice.

~Loris Malaguzzi,  The Hundred Languages of Children  (1993)


Children are people.

They grow into tomorrow
only as they live today.

~ John Dewey


It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disaster to be unable to capture your ideal, but it is a disaster to have no ideal to capture. It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for. Not failure, but low aim is sin.

Dr. Mays ON GOALS:
It must be borne in mind that the tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach …

Education is not designed merely to lift one above his fellows, but rather its purpose is to equip man to help his fellows  to elevate the masses, the less fortunate. For if one has a better mind than his fellows, more wealth than his fellows, is more favorably circumstanced than his fellows, has a better opportunity than his fellows, he is obligated to use his skills in the interest of the common good …

~Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays


Life is a tragedy for those who feel,
and a comedy for those who think.



If the teacher is indeed wise
he does not bid you enter
the house of his wisdom,
but rather leads you to
the threshold of your own mind

~ Kahlil Gibran, in The Prophet


If we are to reach real peace in the world … we shall have to begin with the children; and if they will grow up in their natural innocence, we won’t have to struggle; we won’t have to pass fruitless ideal resolutions, but we shall go from love to love and peace to peace, until at last all the corners of the world are covered with that peace and love for which consciously or unconsciously the whole world is hungering.
~ Ghandi


Part of the art of choosing difficulties is to select those that are indeed just manageable. If the difficulties chosen are too easy, life is boring; if they are too hard, life is defeating. The trick is to choose trouble for oneself in the direction of what one would like to become at a level of difficulty close to the edge of one’s competence.

When one achieves this fine tuning of his life, he will know zest and joy and deep fulfillment.

~ Nicholas Hobbs, Vanderbilt University


… the only real gold standard in a program
meant to respond to and support the real people
who inhabit it, was one of perfect adaptability —
we’re doing well if we’re doing right by these folks,
here and now … a significant shift in what I do with my
learning about anyplace else, including Reggio.

~Donna King from Durham, North Carolina


It has been agreed that every man shall have a cow.
We give him half a cow, to be getting on with.
He doesn’t know what to do with half a cow, and leaves it lying about.
This proves he didn’t really want or need a cow in the first place.
We take it away from him.
~ Paraphrased from G. K. Chesterton
I Tried to Teach My Child with Books;
He Gave Me Only Puzzled Looks.
I Tried to Teach My Child with Words;
They Passed Him by Often Unheard.
Despairingly, I Turned Aside;
“How Shall I Teach this Child?” I cried.

Into My Hand He Put the Key,
“Come,” He Said, “Play with Me.”

~Author Unknown


There can be no knowledge without emotion.
We may be aware of a truth
yet until we have felt its force, it is not ours.
To the cognition of the brain
must be added the experience of the soul.

 ~Arnold Bennett

Let them remember that there is a meaning beyond absurdity.
Let them be sure that every little deed counts, that every word has power,
and that [you] can … do your share to redeem the world
in spite of all absurdities and all frustrations and all disappointments.

~ Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

You are not required to finish the work;
neither are you permitted to leave off from doing it.

~ Rabbi Tarfon

To know someone here or there
with whom you can feel there is understanding
in spite of distances or thoughts unexpressed —
That can make this earth a garden.

~ Goethe


No woman is required to build the world by destroying herself.

~ Rabbi Sofer (17th Century)


A Nation is not conquered
Until the hearts of its women
Are on the ground.
Then it is done, no matter
How brave its warriors
Nor how strong its weapons.

~ Cheyenne Song


Remember, meanings are never static,
univocal, or final; they are always singly voiced
of other meanings. The central act of adults,
therefore, is to activate, especially indirectly,
the meaning-making competencies of children as a basis of all learning.
They must try to capture the right moments, and then find the right approaches,
for bringing together, into a fruitful dialogue,
their meanings and interpretations with those of the children.
~ Loris Malaguzzi in Edwards, C.  One Hundred Languages of Children, 1993