Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Eleventh Rule

A list of "10 rules for students and teachers" has been making the rounds:

I checked to see if this was really by Cage because so many things floating around the net are misattributed. All too often, the attribution turns out to be wrong, and the supposed source clearly serves more as a marker of wisdom than anything else. I recently came across a "Chinese proverb": "A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song." But that's Maya Angelou! 

In addition, these rules don't sound very much like Cage to me. Even if it does turn out to be something that quotes him (rule 10) and that he adopted as his own, the rules don't contain enough randomness to be typically "Cageian."

Still, it's a good list. I especially like Rule 1, which emphasizes that the place where learning takes place is important, as well as the role of trust in the teaching process. And Rule 9, which emphasizes the role of pleasure in learning. But perhaps Rule 7 is most important of all: "if you work it will lead to something."


Dominic Rivron said...

I share your favourites. I've seen this before, attributed to Cage. Unfortunately I can't vouch for the attribution - I've read a couple of his books but have only seen the list on the net.

Dominic Rivron said...

On further investigation, it turns out it didn't originate with Cage although he apparently popularized it:

Andrew Shields said...

Dominic, I'm really sorry that it was not clear that there was a link at "Always check your sources," because it would have saved you the time of looking for the same brainpickings page that I had linked to!

Meryl said...

I like it so much that these originated with Sister Corita Kent, who I was pleased to learn more about. She must have been some sister!

Dominic Rivron said...

No apology required. Searching and finding are more fun than just clicking!

I've thought a lot about the list since you posted it. It's very useful, I think, as a way of thinking about how teaching works.