Today we remember and celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr., an advocate of social justice, education, and humanity. Throughout his short but impactful life, Dr. King peacefully led the progression of African American equality in the United States. Using his nonviolent protests and powerful words against racial discrimination, Dr. King propelled the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into existence, thus becoming widely regarded as a hero of US history. Beyond his success in progressing the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King’s views on education are particularly inspiring and deserve to be highlighted today and everyday. Thrively looks up to Dr. King and his universal words of wisdom that inspire students, teachers, and parents alike!

Martin Luther King Jr.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking. (Photo by Julian Wasser//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

In his most famous paper,“The Purpose of Education”, written while attending Boston University, Dr. King discusses the moral function of higher education. He believes that education should be well-rounded, and that standard intelligence can only get someone so far in life. He wrote:

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”


A big initiative in education today is to build students’ 4Cs (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity). Similar to Dr. King’s emphasis of critical thinking, Thrively has programs specific to building and developing this skill.

Dr. King also believes that the key to a good education is the combination of intelligence and character–which Thrively aims to achieve through personalized learning. Not only is education to learn, it’s learning how to learn. Dr. King argues that by learning how to be a critical thinker, students can create meaningful impact outside of the classroom. Dr. King further highlights this by connecting education and social justice – particularly how education can translate into community change. Sixty-five years later, Dr. King’s words continue to resonate with people of all ages.

As students move along the Thrively Journey, they become more self aware through discovery of their strengths and strengths-based learning. We hope to provide students with the roadmap and tools to be effective leaders and change-makers to shape a better tomorrow!