Rigor sounds good. Who wouldn’t want their child to receive a rigorous education? Or to develop rigorous study habits? The problems start when we try to define rigor, and many a school conflagration has at its genesis divergent views about what constitutes rigor.
Brian Ztabnik makes a terrific contribution to the still-evolving conversation about rigor with his Edutopia post on May 7. Too many define rigor in a “push-down and pile-on” way. Ztabnik counters:
“Rigor is the result of work that challenges students’ thinking in new and interesting ways. It occurs when they are encouraged toward a sophisticated understanding of fundamental ideas and are driven by curiosity to discover what they don’t know.”