We hear voices in the context of education and school reform today calling for “rigor and relevance,” yet how many of us have really stopped to analyze what is meant, implied, and required if “rigor” is a defining characteristic of our educational system? The synonyms for rigor are inflexibility, stringency, and cruelty. Rigor should NOT define our classrooms. Many people mistakenly associate rigor with high expectations. High expectations are important and needed, but not within a rigorous environment that does not encourage differentiation and flexiblity within classrooms. Learning is inherently a dynamical process, not isolated events that can be entirely centrally planned, and our educational language as well as policies should recognize this. We need to embrace differentiation, flexibility and high expectations for all students. To do this, we need to reject rigor.

Program Length: 24 min, 50 sec
File size: 5.8 MB

Podcast 31 August 2006(Click here to listen to this podcast) Show notes for this podcast include:

  1. Definitions of “rigor” from Dictionary.com and rigor mortis
  2. Dynamical Classrooms, Transparent Technology presentation notes from TCEA 2003
  3. Books and Articles by Stephen D Krashen
  4. More from Stephen Krashen on America’s fabricated literacy crisis
  5. Cell Growth (WikiPedia article)
  6. Schlechty Center for Leadership in School Reform
  7. “A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future” by Dan Pink
  8. Please provide feedback on this podcast as comments on the iTunes Podcast Directory!

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