Self-Education Is the Only Kind of Education There Is

Robert Frost? Isaac Asimov? Kathleen Norris? Charles Swain Thomas? Robert Shafer? George Gallup?

Dear Quote Investigator: The renowned poet laureate Robert Frost emphasized the importance of self-education. Also, the preternaturally productive science and science fiction writer Isaac Asimov extolled self-education. Here are two quotations on this topic:

1) The only education worth anything is self-education.
2) Self-education is the only kind of education there is.

Would you please help me find citations for these expressions?

Quote Investigator: In 1958 Robert Frost spoke the first statement according to his friend Louis Untermeyer. In addition, Isaac Asimov wrote a sentence that closely matched the second sentence in 1974. Full citations are given further below.

Before Frost or Asimov shared their opinions, a high school teacher named Charles Swain Thomas made a similar remark as reported in “The Indianapolis Star” in 1913. Thomas who later became a professor in the Harvard Graduate School of Education addressed the Marion County Teachers’ Institute in Indiana. Boldface has been added to excerpts: 1

The only kind of education worth while is self-education, Mr. Thomas said in his morning lecture, “The good work for all education is interest. Until there is interest there is no response.”

Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Self-Education Is the Only Kind of Education There Is


  1. 1913 August 29, The Indianapolis Star, Asserts ‘Soul Ardor’ Is Need of Teacher, Quote Page 3, Column 2, Indianapolis, Indiana. (Newspapers_com)