Here are some quotations that I’ve collected over the years about the amazing genius of children.

“The real magic wand is the child’s own mind.”

– Jose Ortega Y Gasset (Spanish philosopher)

“The great man is he who does not lose his child’s heart.”

– Mencius (Chinese sage)

“No Columbus, no Marco Polo has ever seen stranger and more fascinating and thoroughly absorbing sights than the child that learns to perceive, to taste, to smell, to touch, to hear and to see, and to use his body, his senses, and his mind.  No wonder that the child shows an insatiable curiosity.  He has the whole world to discover.”

– Ernest Schactel (American psychoanalyst)

“Children are not only philosophers; they are cosmologists; they’re inventors of myths, of religions.”

– John Holt (American educator)

“Grown men may learn from very little children for the hearts of little children are pure and, therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people may miss.”

– Black Elk (Native American Medicine Man)

“The child, the ordinary man, and the creative artist are all moved by a flash of self-identification in the same way, but there is no doubt that the child is moved more often and that these flashes illuminate his whole being with a more penetrating light.”

– Sir Kenneth Clark (British art historian)

“Children are the most learning-hungry beings in the world.”

– Ashley Montagu (American anthropologist)

“We grown-up people think that we appreciate music, but if we realized the sense that an infant has brought with it of appreciating sound and rhythm, we would never boast of knowing music.  The infant is music itself.   In the cradle it is moving its little arms and legs in a certain rhythm.  And when our music falls on the ears of an infant it is of the lowest character compared with the music it is accustomed to.”

– Hazrat Inayat Khan (Sufi mystic)

“Children are born true scientists.  They spontaneously experiment and experience and reexperience again.   They select, combine, and test, seeking to find order in their experiences–“which is the mostest? which is the leastest?” They smell, taste, bite, and touch-test for hardness, softness, springiness, roughness, smoothness, coldness, warmness; they heft, shake, punch, squeeze, push, crush, rub, and try to pull things apart.”

– R. Buckminster Fuller (American futurist)

“There are children playing in the streets who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.”

– J. Robert Oppenheimer (American theoretical physicist)

”I shall like to recapture that freshness of vision which is characteristic of extreme youth, when all the world is new to it.”

– Henri Matisse (French painter)

”I used to draw like Raphael, but it has taken me a whole lifetime to learn to draw like a child.”

– Pablo Picasso (Spanish artist)

For more information about the genius of children, see my book Awakening Genius in the Classroom (ASCD).

This article was brought to you by Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. and

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About the author

I’m the author of 20 books including my latest, a novel called Childless, which you can order from Amazon.

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