[Source: Chapel Hill Snippets]
For those of you involved in education, you know it’s full of lingo, acronyms, and initiatives.
The buzzword in education these days is ‘rigor’.
Form the Glossary of Education Reform, “The term rigor is widely used by educators to describe instruction, schoolwork, learning experiences, and educational expectations that are academically, intellectually, and personally challenging.” Go to this link to read more.
A simple Google search yielded this article in a notable website. Here is another article which speaks of ‘rigor’. Both articles are about as clear as mud when it comes down to actual teaching practices, and neither article addresses the need for differentiation of lessons for those students with learning challenges or those who may know little Engish.
Unfortunately, since the actual components of a ‘rigorous’ classroom are not clear, I find schools are interpreting ‘rigor’ as ‘let’s instruct students above typical developmental level’. Hence, you see heavy reading, writing, and math instruction in kindergarten with limited center/play time. You see worksheets for third graders including passages at a high school level. All students are expected to achieve at the same high level or they are placed in reading, writing, and math intervention groups.