Q&A #17179


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From: Fred
To: Teacher2Teacher Service
Date: May 24, 2006 at 09:09:03
Subject: Rigor

What is "rigor"?

In an effort to close the achievement gap we are undergoing high school 
redesign, and a big piece of it is establishing "adaptive pedagogy" and
"authentic curriculum".  One of the biggest concerns is not losing "academic
rigor" in our efforts to engage all students.  

I have been teaching mathematics since 1998 and it seems to me that there 
is no commonly agreed-to definition of the term "rigor".  What is meant 
by the term seems to change depending upon what position the speaker is 
trying to make.  At times I can almost hear Forest Gump saying "Rigor is 
as rigor does."  

To some "rigor" is more problems on a worksheet, to others it is the 
ability to apply the math in a "real world" situation, and to still others 
it is using the math in a multi-disciplinary fashion.  

I get confused by a term that everybody uses, everybody claims to want, but
no one seems to agree on exactly what it is.

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