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There is no greater education than one that is self-driven. ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

 

Fall is here and the hustle and bustle of the first days of school are over.  This relatively calm period – before the holidays begin in earnest – is a good time to reflect on the wonders of education and the powers of enlightenment.

In deference to today’s illuminating topic, here are five fun historical facts about education.

 

Historical Facts

    (1)  The Boston Latin School is the first and oldest public school in the United States. It was founded in 1635 in Boston, Massachusetts.

     

    (2)  The Mather School was the first free taxpayer-supported public school in North America. It was opened in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1639.  Dorchester was once its own city.  Today, it is a neighborhood in Boston.

    The Mather school pledge is as follows.

    I must work hard today

    Get smarter in every way

    Helped by my teacher, my family and my friends

    If I make some mistakes

    I have what it takes

    To keep trying ‘till I really succeed

     

    (3)  The Society to Encourage Studies at Home was the first correspondence school in the United States. It was founded in 1873 by Anna Eliot Ticknor.  Courses were only offered to women.  Students paid a small fee, while instructors offered their time and services for free.  Can you guess where it was founded?  If you guessed Boston, Massachusetts, you are correct. 

     

    (4)  As of 2018, more than 900 universities offer massive open online courses (MOOC). First introduced in 2006, MOOCs were originally conceived as open source, open access, free resources for learning.  Think of them as the younger cousins of distance learning and correspondence courses that were prevalent during the 1800s and 1900s.  Similar to other online education opportunities offered today, MOOCs have increasingly become monetized, for-profit endeavors.

     

    (5)  Since the mid-1800s, the United States has collected statistics on the progress of American education. If you are interested in reading these fascinating tomes, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has an archive of historical reports.  Condition of Education reports and other informative statistics from 1990 to the present are also available on the NCES website.

       

      Bonus Fact

      Third grade reading level predicts high school graduation.  A child who cannot read at grade level by the third grade is four times less likely to graduate than a child who reads proficiently.

      That’s powerful information.  Consider yourself enlightened.

       

      Quotes to Live By

      Surprise your friends and family with your knowledge of the historical facts above.  Then impress them by reciting a few of the insightful quotes below.  Enjoy!

      It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

      It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

      Seek the lofty by reading, hearing and seeing great work at some moment every day. ~ Thornton Wilder

      Seek the lofty by reading, hearing and seeing great work at some moment every day. ~ Thornton Wilder

      There is no greater education than one that is self-driven. ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

      There is no greater education than one that is self-driven. ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

      Talent is flame. Genius is fire. ~ Bernard Williams

      Talent is flame. Genius is fire. ~ Bernard Williams

      Prepare today – thrive tomorrow. ~ Anonymous

      Prepare today – thrive tomorrow. ~ Anonymous

      Finish last in your league and they call you idiot. Finish last in medical school and they call you doctor. ~ Abe Lemons

      Finish last in your league and they call you idiot. Finish last in medical school and they call you doctor. ~ Abe Lemons

      The mark of greatness is when everything before you is obsolete, and everything after you bears your mark. ~ Dave Chappelle

      The mark of greatness is when everything before you is obsolete, and everything after you bears your mark. ~ Dave Chappelle

      Believing in yourself is an endless destination. Believing you have failed is the end of your journey. ~ Sarah Meredith

      Believing in yourself is an endless destination. Believing you have failed is the end of your journey. ~ Sarah Meredith

      A man doesn’t know what he knows until he knows what he doesn’t know. ~ Laurence J. Peter

      A man doesn’t know what he knows until he knows what he doesn’t know. ~ Laurence J. Peter

      The most important thing we learn at school is the fact that the most important things can’t be learned at school. ~ Haruki Murakami

      The most important thing we learn at school is the fact that the most important things can’t be learned at school. ~ Haruki Murakami

      The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement. ~ Anonymous

      The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement. ~ Anonymous

      Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. ~ Lao Tzu

      Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. ~ Lao Tzu

      Some men know the value of education by having it. I know its value by not having it. ~ Frederick Douglass

      Some men know the value of education by having it. I know its value by not having it. ~ Frederick Douglass

      Now, for my younger viewers out there, a book is something we used to have before the internet. It’s sort of a blog for people with attention spans. ~ Stephen Colbert

      Now, for my younger viewers out there, a book is something we used to have before the internet. It’s sort of a blog for people with attention spans. ~ Stephen Colbert

      If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

      If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

      Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. ~ Will Durant

      Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. ~ Will Durant

      Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. ~ Yehuda Berg

      Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. ~ Yehuda Berg

      If you have learned how to disagree without being disagreeable, then you have discovered the secret of getting along - whether it be business, family relations, or life itself. ~ Bernard Meltzer

      If you have learned how to disagree without being disagreeable, then you have discovered the secret of getting along - whether it be business, family relations, or life itself. ~ Bernard Meltzer

      It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. ~ Epictetus

      It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. ~ Epictetus

      The secret is to have a sense of yourself, your real self, your unique self. ~ Bill Murray

      The secret is to have a sense of yourself, your real self, your unique self. ~ Bill Murray

      One thing that’s good about procrastination is that you always have something planned for tomorrow. ~ Gladys Bronwyn Stern

      One thing that’s good about procrastination is that you always have something planned for tomorrow. ~ Gladys Bronwyn Stern

      Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. ~ Oprah Winfrey

      Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. ~ Oprah Winfrey

      Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not. ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

      Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not. ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

      A child educated only at school is an uneducated child. ~ George Santayana

      A child educated only at school is an uneducated child. ~ George Santayana

      People learn something every day, and a lot of times it’s that what they learned the day before was wrong. ~ Bill Vaughan

      People learn something every day, and a lot of times it’s that what they learned the day before was wrong. ~ Bill Vaughan

      Only dumb people try to impress smart people. Smart people just do what they do. ~ Chris Rock

      Only dumb people try to impress smart people. Smart people just do what they do. ~ Chris Rock

      The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn. ~ John Lubbock

      The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn. ~ John Lubbock

      In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson. ~ Tom Bodett

      In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson. ~ Tom Bodett

      Don’t just teach your children to read. Teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything. Including you. ~ George Carlin

      Don’t just teach your children to read. Teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything. Including you. ~ George Carlin

      I can tell you that the effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is. ~ Jim Carrey

      I can tell you that the effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is. ~ Jim Carrey

      No wonder the teacher knows so much; she has the book. ~ Edgar Watson Howe

      No wonder the teacher knows so much; she has the book. ~ Edgar Watson Howe

      Love what you do. Get good at it. Competence is a rare commodity in this day and age. ~ Jon Stewart

      Love what you do. Get good at it. Competence is a rare commodity in this day and age. ~ Jon Stewart

      Beliefs do not change facts. Facts, if one is rational, should change beliefs. ~ Ricky Gervais

      Beliefs do not change facts. Facts, if one is rational, should change beliefs. ~ Ricky Gervais

      Life opens up opportunities to you, and you either take them or you stay afraid of taking them. ~ Jim Carrey

      Life opens up opportunities to you, and you either take them or you stay afraid of taking them. ~ Jim Carrey

      Be open to learning new lessons, even if they contradict the lessons you learned yesterday. ~ Ellen DeGeneres

      Be open to learning new lessons, even if they contradict the lessons you learned yesterday. ~ Ellen DeGeneres

      The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. ~ Ellen Parr

      The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.  ~ Ellen Parr

      People who criticize you have usually never achieved anywhere near what you have. Most of them would be too scared to even try. Keep going. ~ Ricky Gervais

      People who criticize you have usually never achieved anywhere near what you have. Most of them would be too scared to even try. Keep going. ~ Ricky Gervais

      I learn each day what I need to know to do tomorrow’s work. ~ Arnold Toynbee

      I learn each day what I need to know to do tomorrow’s work. ~ Arnold Toynbee

      The moment of experience is the firmest reality. ~ Benjamin Boretz

      The moment of experience is the firmest reality. ~ Benjamin Boretz

      Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them. ~ attributed to Albert Einstein

      Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them. ~ attributed to Albert Einstein

      You should bring something into the world that wasn’t in the world before. It doesn’t matter what that is. It doesn’t matter if it’s a table or a film or gardening – everyone should create. You should do something, then sit back and say, “I did that”. ~ Ricky Gervais

      You should bring something into the world that wasn’t in the world before. It doesn’t matter what that is. It doesn’t matter if it’s a table or a film or gardening – everyone should create. You should do something, then sit back and say, “I did that”. ~ Ricky Gervais

      Our great mistake in education is, as it seems to me, the worship of book-learning – the confusion of instruction and education. We strain the memory instead of cultivating the mind. ~ John Lubbock

      Our great mistake in education is, as it seems to me, the worship of book-learning – the confusion of instruction and education. We strain the memory instead of cultivating the mind. ~ John Lubbock

      I always thought the idea of education was to learn to think for yourself. ~ Robin Williams (as John Keating, Dead Poets Society)

      I always thought the idea of education was to learn to think for yourself. ~ Robin Williams (as John Keating, Dead Poets Society)

      The more you know, the sadder you get. ~ Stephen Colbert

      The more you know, the sadder you get. ~ Stephen Colbert

      Confidence is what you have before you understand the problem. ~ Woody Allen

      Confidence is what you have before you understand the problem. ~ Woody Allen

      A study in the Washington Post says that women have better verbal skills than men. I just want to say to the authors of that study: ‘Duh.’ ~ Conan O’Brien

      A study in the Washington Post says that women have better verbal skills than men. I just want to say to the authors of that study: ‘Duh.’ ~ Conan O’Brien

      There is no such thing as a failed experiment, only experiments with unexpected outcomes. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

      There is no such thing as a failed experiment, only experiments with unexpected outcomes. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

      We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. ~ Peter Drucker

      We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. ~ Peter Drucker

      If the learner hasn’t learned, the teacher hasn’t taught. ~ Anonymous

      If the learner hasn’t learned, the teacher hasn’t taught. ~ Anonymous

      To know and not do is not yet to know. ~ Anonymous

      To know and not do is not yet to know. ~ Anonymous

      No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. ~ Robin Williams (as John Keating, Dead Poets Society)

      No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. ~ Robin Williams (as John Keating, Dead Poets Society)

      Metrics are abstractions made by man, while reality is made by nature. ~ Mike Rother

      Metrics are abstractions made by man, while reality is made by nature. ~ Mike Rother

      Plans are things that change. ~ Fujio Cho

      Plans are things that change. ~ Fujio Cho

      In order to maintain an untenable position, you have to be actively ignorant. One motto on the show is, ‘Keep your facts, I’m going with the truth.’ ~ Stephen Colbert

      In order to maintain an untenable position, you have to be actively ignorant. One motto on the show is, ‘Keep your facts, I’m going with the truth.’ ~ Stephen Colbert

      ...[T]he most pressing task is to teach people how to learn. ~ Peter Drucker

      ...[T]he most pressing task is to teach people how to learn. ~ Peter Drucker

      He who begins many things finishes but few. ~ Anonymous

      He who begins many things finishes but few. ~ Anonymous

      Creativity — like human life itself — begins in darkness. ~ Julia Cameron

      Creativity — like human life itself — begins in darkness. ~ Julia Cameron

      The greatest thief this world has ever produced is procrastination, and he is still at large. ~ Henry Wheeler Shaw

      The greatest thief this world has ever produced is procrastination, and he is still at large. ~ Henry Wheeler Shaw

      ...[F]orget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly, just harness your power to your passion. Honor your calling. Everybody has one. Trust your heart and success will come to you. ~ Oprah Winfrey

      …[F]orget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly, just harness your power to your passion. Honor your calling. Everybody has one. Trust your heart and success will come to you. ~ Oprah Winfrey

      You cannot be anything if you want to be everything. But if you are content to be something, you may by analogy be many things. ~ Israel Zangwill

      You cannot be anything if you want to be everything. But if you are content to be something, you may by analogy be many things. ~ Israel Zangwill

      My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition. ~ Indira Gandhi

      You cannot be anything if you want to be everything. But if you are content to be something, you may by analogy be many things. ~ Israel Zangwill  My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition. ~ Indira Gandhi

       

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