How refreshing to hear that other teachers are concerned about educational “rigor,” which seems to be another word for “stress.” Researchers tell us that we are making our kiddos sick. Too much rigor and not enough fun (another word for appropriate, child-centered education).
Recently, I sat at a faculty meeting concerning the upcoming school year (though we’ve just reached the halfway threshold of this one), and a colleague of mine said, “Folks, we’ve got rigor.”
Yep. There it was again. Academic rigor. And though it’s been an education buzzword for years, our teacher-ears perk up every time we hear it. We take it as a compliment. We give it a positive connotation. That’s a good school; it has a rigorous curriculum.
But after that meeting, I went back to my classroom wondering if I really knew the true definition of the word. Because we’ve been studying so much Sylvia Plath in my classes, a copy of The American Heritage High School Dictionary sat nearby on a student desk, and out of curiosity, I took a look.
Here’s what I found.
Rigor, n: 1. Strictness or severity, as in temperament…
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