Distinguishing among shamans, mavens, scolds, and guardians

The best moments when you’re a teacher is when you’re laying back and the kids are making the connections for themselves and all you do is keep the ball in the air…
– Lin-Manuel Miranda, author and star of Hamilton
What is a scold as opposed to a shaman, a maven, or a guardian?
A scold will dismiss Miranda’s thoughts and talents due to his missing the lie/lay distinction.
A guardian may point out that his most famous product, Hamilton, does not conform to the Greco-Roman canon. A maven will introduce the terms transitive and intransitive to amaze you. The shaman will give you to believe that such confounding of verb forms represents a deep shift in the culture in a downward direction, not too different from the guardian except shamans rely much more on esoteric knowledge, whereas the guardian refers us to canonical texts. The shaman and the guardian both will look askance at Miranda’s educational philosophy: where are the authority, rigor and strict guidance? How can children make connections for themselves without falling into error?

Advisory notice: these definitions are all my own and made up on the spot.

One Comment

  1. Wes Groleau says:

    Miranda is not far from Plato’s account of Socrates teaching with questions. I enjoyed it when I could teach electronics that way. Just ask questions and they learn it from their own answers.

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