Michelle Baldwin just made this wonderful summary of why Rigor is a very strange thing to ask of our students…

Michelle Baldwin just made this wonderful summary of why Rigor is a very strange thing to ask of our students (official definition: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rigor). I am scared about how spot on it is.

72 Comments

  1. This EXACT comment (well, without the awesome pic) was made today at the Colorado Education Initiative Summit (formerly Colorado Legacy Foundation). Seems we could find a better word to communicate the challenge to which we would like our students to rise. 🙂

  2. This EXACT comment (well, without the awesome pic) was made today at the Colorado Education Initiative Summit (formerly Colorado Legacy Foundation). Seems we could find a better word to communicate the challenge to which we would like our students to rise. 🙂

  3. This EXACT comment (well, without the awesome pic) was made today at the Colorado Education Initiative Summit (formerly Colorado Legacy Foundation). Seems we could find a better word to communicate the challenge to which we would like our students to rise. 🙂

  4. This EXACT comment (well, without the awesome pic) was made today at the Colorado Education Initiative Summit (formerly Colorado Legacy Foundation). Seems we could find a better word to communicate the challenge to which we would like our students to rise. 🙂

  5. Don’t know … ‘challenge’ comes to mind, but it doesn’t quite capture what we are trying to communicate. What I keep thinking of is a challenge like climbing a 14er … you need to train yourself to acclimate to the kind of work it takes to accomplish the goal (if you learn to like that, even better), develop the habit of applying yourself in that fashion, looking up the path ahead and taking current actions that forward the goal, and not giving up until the result is attained.

  6. Don’t know … ‘challenge’ comes to mind, but it doesn’t quite capture what we are trying to communicate. What I keep thinking of is a challenge like climbing a 14er … you need to train yourself to acclimate to the kind of work it takes to accomplish the goal (if you learn to like that, even better), develop the habit of applying yourself in that fashion, looking up the path ahead and taking current actions that forward the goal, and not giving up until the result is attained.

  7. Don’t know … ‘challenge’ comes to mind, but it doesn’t quite capture what we are trying to communicate. What I keep thinking of is a challenge like climbing a 14er … you need to train yourself to acclimate to the kind of work it takes to accomplish the goal (if you learn to like that, even better), develop the habit of applying yourself in that fashion, looking up the path ahead and taking current actions that forward the goal, and not giving up until the result is attained.

  8. Don’t know … ‘challenge’ comes to mind, but it doesn’t quite capture what we are trying to communicate. What I keep thinking of is a challenge like climbing a 14er … you need to train yourself to acclimate to the kind of work it takes to accomplish the goal (if you learn to like that, even better), develop the habit of applying yourself in that fashion, looking up the path ahead and taking current actions that forward the goal, and not giving up until the result is attained.

  9. Tenacious

    When I try to think of a word to describe what I hope my curriculum will inspire in my students I think of trying to find a way to compel Ss to extend themselves and become tenacious about their learning, just like a climber who takes on a 14 thousand foot peak, or a cyclist who rides a century or marathoner … tenacity is an expression of the other new buzz word “grit”  …  However, whenever we tie one word to an extremely complex and dynamic situation we tend to simplify and lose the importance and nuance of what we are trying to communicate. While it may be easy to use a single word we need to expand our conversations beyond a sound bite especially in our PD events. 

    FYI

    Merriam-Websters

    te·na·cious adjective \tə-ˈnā-shəs\

    : not easily stopped or pulled apart : firm or strong

    : continuing for a long time

    : very determined to do something 

    a :  not easily pulled apart :  cohesive

    b :  tending to adhere or cling especially to another substance

    2

    a :  persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired

    b :  retentive

  10. Tenacious

    When I try to think of a word to describe what I hope my curriculum will inspire in my students I think of trying to find a way to compel Ss to extend themselves and become tenacious about their learning, just like a climber who takes on a 14 thousand foot peak, or a cyclist who rides a century or marathoner … tenacity is an expression of the other new buzz word “grit”  …  However, whenever we tie one word to an extremely complex and dynamic situation we tend to simplify and lose the importance and nuance of what we are trying to communicate. While it may be easy to use a single word we need to expand our conversations beyond a sound bite especially in our PD events. 

    FYI

    Merriam-Websters

    te·na·cious adjective \tə-ˈnā-shəs\

    : not easily stopped or pulled apart : firm or strong

    : continuing for a long time

    : very determined to do something 

    a :  not easily pulled apart :  cohesive

    b :  tending to adhere or cling especially to another substance

    2

    a :  persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired

    b :  retentive

  11. Tenacious

    When I try to think of a word to describe what I hope my curriculum will inspire in my students I think of trying to find a way to compel Ss to extend themselves and become tenacious about their learning, just like a climber who takes on a 14 thousand foot peak, or a cyclist who rides a century or marathoner … tenacity is an expression of the other new buzz word “grit”  …  However, whenever we tie one word to an extremely complex and dynamic situation we tend to simplify and lose the importance and nuance of what we are trying to communicate. While it may be easy to use a single word we need to expand our conversations beyond a sound bite especially in our PD events. 

    FYI

    Merriam-Websters

    te·na·cious adjective \tə-ˈnā-shəs\

    : not easily stopped or pulled apart : firm or strong

    : continuing for a long time

    : very determined to do something 

    a :  not easily pulled apart :  cohesive

    b :  tending to adhere or cling especially to another substance

    2

    a :  persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired

    b :  retentive

  12. Tenacious

    When I try to think of a word to describe what I hope my curriculum will inspire in my students I think of trying to find a way to compel Ss to extend themselves and become tenacious about their learning, just like a climber who takes on a 14 thousand foot peak, or a cyclist who rides a century or marathoner … tenacity is an expression of the other new buzz word “grit”  …  However, whenever we tie one word to an extremely complex and dynamic situation we tend to simplify and lose the importance and nuance of what we are trying to communicate. While it may be easy to use a single word we need to expand our conversations beyond a sound bite especially in our PD events. 

    FYI

    Merriam-Websters

    te·na·cious adjective \tə-ˈnā-shəs\

    : not easily stopped or pulled apart : firm or strong

    : continuing for a long time

    : very determined to do something 

    a :  not easily pulled apart :  cohesive

    b :  tending to adhere or cling especially to another substance

    2

    a :  persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired

    b :  retentive

  13. I don’t think engaged is nearly good enough. Engaged just means I’m interested and paying attention. It doesn’t mean I’m learning. I can be engaged in watching a movie or looking at a book, which is certainly at least half the battle, but it’s not enough. Engagement just means you got my attention. It doesn’t mean I’m going to actually DO anything about it. If we get kids to be engaged and that’s all, we’re only part of the way there.

    I think a better goal would be to get students to be perplexed, as #ddmeyer says. Perplexity goes that extra step and causes enough cognitive dissonance that it caused students to act on the perplexity, creating new neural pathways and learning.

    Whatever word we choose to use, I don’t think that engagement is enough.

  14. I don’t think engaged is nearly good enough. Engaged just means I’m interested and paying attention. It doesn’t mean I’m learning. I can be engaged in watching a movie or looking at a book, which is certainly at least half the battle, but it’s not enough. Engagement just means you got my attention. It doesn’t mean I’m going to actually DO anything about it. If we get kids to be engaged and that’s all, we’re only part of the way there.

    I think a better goal would be to get students to be perplexed, as #ddmeyer says. Perplexity goes that extra step and causes enough cognitive dissonance that it caused students to act on the perplexity, creating new neural pathways and learning.

    Whatever word we choose to use, I don’t think that engagement is enough.

  15. I don’t think engaged is nearly good enough. Engaged just means I’m interested and paying attention. It doesn’t mean I’m learning. I can be engaged in watching a movie or looking at a book, which is certainly at least half the battle, but it’s not enough. Engagement just means you got my attention. It doesn’t mean I’m going to actually DO anything about it. If we get kids to be engaged and that’s all, we’re only part of the way there.

    I think a better goal would be to get students to be perplexed, as #ddmeyer says. Perplexity goes that extra step and causes enough cognitive dissonance that it caused students to act on the perplexity, creating new neural pathways and learning.

    Whatever word we choose to use, I don’t think that engagement is enough.

  16. I don’t think engaged is nearly good enough. Engaged just means I’m interested and paying attention. It doesn’t mean I’m learning. I can be engaged in watching a movie or looking at a book, which is certainly at least half the battle, but it’s not enough. Engagement just means you got my attention. It doesn’t mean I’m going to actually DO anything about it. If we get kids to be engaged and that’s all, we’re only part of the way there.

    I think a better goal would be to get students to be perplexed, as #ddmeyer says. Perplexity goes that extra step and causes enough cognitive dissonance that it caused students to act on the perplexity, creating new neural pathways and learning.

    Whatever word we choose to use, I don’t think that engagement is enough.

  17. Chris Betcher, the reality is that no one word is enough. While I love “perplexed”, I don’t think anything happens without engagement. I can be completely perplexed and still walk away.

    Also, I don’t think of engaged as a temporary state when talking about it in regards to a goal of an educator. If a learner remains engaged, I believe it’s as powerful as anything in the world. In fact, without engagement, nothing else gets the job done.

  18. Chris Betcher, the reality is that no one word is enough. While I love “perplexed”, I don’t think anything happens without engagement. I can be completely perplexed and still walk away.

    Also, I don’t think of engaged as a temporary state when talking about it in regards to a goal of an educator. If a learner remains engaged, I believe it’s as powerful as anything in the world. In fact, without engagement, nothing else gets the job done.

  19. Chris Betcher, the reality is that no one word is enough. While I love “perplexed”, I don’t think anything happens without engagement. I can be completely perplexed and still walk away.

    Also, I don’t think of engaged as a temporary state when talking about it in regards to a goal of an educator. If a learner remains engaged, I believe it’s as powerful as anything in the world. In fact, without engagement, nothing else gets the job done.

  20. Chris Betcher, the reality is that no one word is enough. While I love “perplexed”, I don’t think anything happens without engagement. I can be completely perplexed and still walk away.

    Also, I don’t think of engaged as a temporary state when talking about it in regards to a goal of an educator. If a learner remains engaged, I believe it’s as powerful as anything in the world. In fact, without engagement, nothing else gets the job done.

  21. I think if you walk away you were not perplexed. You were just confused. Big difference.

    I’m not saying you don’t need engagement… You do. It just needs to go beyond that. I’ve seen plenty of kids that are engaged, but learn very little. I don’t know what definition we want to use for learning, but to me it needs to include an element of permanent change in understanding, of changing the way we look at something, or providing us with insights and ideas we did not previously have. That’s more than engagement.

    Engagement is necessary, but not enough. Ask any bride. 😉

  22. I think if you walk away you were not perplexed. You were just confused. Big difference.

    I’m not saying you don’t need engagement… You do. It just needs to go beyond that. I’ve seen plenty of kids that are engaged, but learn very little. I don’t know what definition we want to use for learning, but to me it needs to include an element of permanent change in understanding, of changing the way we look at something, or providing us with insights and ideas we did not previously have. That’s more than engagement.

    Engagement is necessary, but not enough. Ask any bride. 😉

  23. I think if you walk away you were not perplexed. You were just confused. Big difference.

    I’m not saying you don’t need engagement… You do. It just needs to go beyond that. I’ve seen plenty of kids that are engaged, but learn very little. I don’t know what definition we want to use for learning, but to me it needs to include an element of permanent change in understanding, of changing the way we look at something, or providing us with insights and ideas we did not previously have. That’s more than engagement.

    Engagement is necessary, but not enough. Ask any bride. 😉

  24. I think if you walk away you were not perplexed. You were just confused. Big difference.

    I’m not saying you don’t need engagement… You do. It just needs to go beyond that. I’ve seen plenty of kids that are engaged, but learn very little. I don’t know what definition we want to use for learning, but to me it needs to include an element of permanent change in understanding, of changing the way we look at something, or providing us with insights and ideas we did not previously have. That’s more than engagement.

    Engagement is necessary, but not enough. Ask any bride. 😉

  25. Look up the word rigor in a dictionary. The term has been hijacked. Challenging, engaging- all fine in my book. Rigor is stiff and unmoving. Many schools believe that, if they just make “material” harder, the school becomes a more elite school. Harder material doesn’t mean better. Challenging kids to find what they’re curious about, what skills/concepts they must understand to move forward… THAT is challenging and engaging. Rigor=unyielding. (Think rigor mortis) Do we really want that for kids?? Vigor or vigorous is a much better term.

  26. Look up the word rigor in a dictionary. The term has been hijacked. Challenging, engaging- all fine in my book. Rigor is stiff and unmoving. Many schools believe that, if they just make “material” harder, the school becomes a more elite school. Harder material doesn’t mean better. Challenging kids to find what they’re curious about, what skills/concepts they must understand to move forward… THAT is challenging and engaging. Rigor=unyielding. (Think rigor mortis) Do we really want that for kids?? Vigor or vigorous is a much better term.

  27. Look up the word rigor in a dictionary. The term has been hijacked. Challenging, engaging- all fine in my book. Rigor is stiff and unmoving. Many schools believe that, if they just make “material” harder, the school becomes a more elite school. Harder material doesn’t mean better. Challenging kids to find what they’re curious about, what skills/concepts they must understand to move forward… THAT is challenging and engaging. Rigor=unyielding. (Think rigor mortis) Do we really want that for kids?? Vigor or vigorous is a much better term.

  28. Look up the word rigor in a dictionary. The term has been hijacked. Challenging, engaging- all fine in my book. Rigor is stiff and unmoving. Many schools believe that, if they just make “material” harder, the school becomes a more elite school. Harder material doesn’t mean better. Challenging kids to find what they’re curious about, what skills/concepts they must understand to move forward… THAT is challenging and engaging. Rigor=unyielding. (Think rigor mortis) Do we really want that for kids?? Vigor or vigorous is a much better term.

  29. I think perhaps the word was chosen because they mean exactly that; unyielding, still, locked into position. Standards are rigorous because they are unyielding no matter who the student is or where they go to school.

    Curriculum is rigorous because it doesn’t change.

    My lesson is rigorous because I will not adapt for my students.

  30. I think perhaps the word was chosen because they mean exactly that; unyielding, still, locked into position. Standards are rigorous because they are unyielding no matter who the student is or where they go to school.

    Curriculum is rigorous because it doesn’t change.

    My lesson is rigorous because I will not adapt for my students.

  31. I think perhaps the word was chosen because they mean exactly that; unyielding, still, locked into position. Standards are rigorous because they are unyielding no matter who the student is or where they go to school.

    Curriculum is rigorous because it doesn’t change.

    My lesson is rigorous because I will not adapt for my students.

  32. I think perhaps the word was chosen because they mean exactly that; unyielding, still, locked into position. Standards are rigorous because they are unyielding no matter who the student is or where they go to school.

    Curriculum is rigorous because it doesn’t change.

    My lesson is rigorous because I will not adapt for my students.

  33. I’d like to believe that also Leslie Maniotes and perhaps I did also at first, but the reality has been worksheets imprinted with the name common core somewhere, and classrooms that feel they must site quietly and listen while teachers cover material. 

    This may not have been the intention, but it is the result being seen across the system. 

  34. I’d like to believe that also Leslie Maniotes and perhaps I did also at first, but the reality has been worksheets imprinted with the name common core somewhere, and classrooms that feel they must site quietly and listen while teachers cover material. 

    This may not have been the intention, but it is the result being seen across the system. 

  35. I’d like to believe that also Leslie Maniotes and perhaps I did also at first, but the reality has been worksheets imprinted with the name common core somewhere, and classrooms that feel they must site quietly and listen while teachers cover material. 

    This may not have been the intention, but it is the result being seen across the system. 

  36. I’d like to believe that also Leslie Maniotes and perhaps I did also at first, but the reality has been worksheets imprinted with the name common core somewhere, and classrooms that feel they must site quietly and listen while teachers cover material. 

    This may not have been the intention, but it is the result being seen across the system. 

  37. Great conversation.  I do think that the answer is not in one word but a formula or recipe (the right combination of ingredients mixed in the right order) Engagement is important, but not enough.  Yet without it the recipe will fail.  Perplexity – yes, but no so much that the learner does not feel the solution is within reach. (Too much and the recipe also fails)   I reaching for the at least one more  ingredient that works with those two important parts of the recipe?  Motivation, ownership, agency, relevance, empowerment? 

  38. Great conversation.  I do think that the answer is not in one word but a formula or recipe (the right combination of ingredients mixed in the right order) Engagement is important, but not enough.  Yet without it the recipe will fail.  Perplexity – yes, but no so much that the learner does not feel the solution is within reach. (Too much and the recipe also fails)   I reaching for the at least one more  ingredient that works with those two important parts of the recipe?  Motivation, ownership, agency, relevance, empowerment? 

  39. Great conversation.  I do think that the answer is not in one word but a formula or recipe (the right combination of ingredients mixed in the right order) Engagement is important, but not enough.  Yet without it the recipe will fail.  Perplexity – yes, but no so much that the learner does not feel the solution is within reach. (Too much and the recipe also fails)   I reaching for the at least one more  ingredient that works with those two important parts of the recipe?  Motivation, ownership, agency, relevance, empowerment? 

  40. Great conversation.  I do think that the answer is not in one word but a formula or recipe (the right combination of ingredients mixed in the right order) Engagement is important, but not enough.  Yet without it the recipe will fail.  Perplexity – yes, but no so much that the learner does not feel the solution is within reach. (Too much and the recipe also fails)   I reaching for the at least one more  ingredient that works with those two important parts of the recipe?  Motivation, ownership, agency, relevance, empowerment? 

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