Thursday, February 4, 2016

Rethinking rigor

Virtual schools enjoy touting their "rigorous curriculum" as a selling point. But, should they?

Our friend Merriam and Webster tell us that Rigor is defined by words such as:

harsh inflexibility
strict precision

Oh, I know that is not the intent of the schools when they use this term Rigor.

In the Glossary of Education Reform, the authors give a more accurate definition of Rigor as applied when educators use it. In education, rigor is commonly applied to lessons that encourage students to question their assumptions and think deeply, rather than lessons that merely demand memorization and information recall.

My suggestion is that parents (your customers) apply the Merriam-Webster definition instead of the Glossary.

Every time you say rigor parents hear strict, severe, rigid. If that is your desire, then continue to use rigor.

However, those who understand what it means to be a virtual school that serves, and apply the principles of customer service will seek to better define the true meaning they want parents to grasp. They will better explain what they have created. They will toss aside rigor.

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