Rig- or NOT

After reading Jeff Delp’s recent Molehills Out of Mountains blog entry, Five Skills for 21st Century Learners, I found myself sharing it on Facebook with the following comment about the word “rigor”.

“I was so pleased to not see the word “rigor” in this post. After hearing Alfie Kohn tell a story about a parent’s desire for rigor, I too looked up the word. Semantics can be temporarily forgiven but not perpetuated with a clear conscience!”

In the classroom, I use a great tool, Visual Thesaurus, that webs words in a fascinating way. Each day I receive emails from them that highlight a word and we take a look at some of the words in our class morning meeting. One day the word was “rigor” and I felt that I had to look out for the misguided adults who might use it around the students. To protect those adults, I explained to students that what I think that teachers, parents, and school leaders usually mean when they say “rigor” is learning that is inspirational, challenging, and stimulating. And yet, I suspect that students continue to have a sense that when we say “rigor” we really mean “RIGOR”. Considering many components of school, I am sympathetic to their perception.

Screen Shot 2017-01-20 at 6.16.19 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-01-20 at 6.16.30 PM.png

Also consider this connection that popped up as I input “rigor” in http://www.visualthesaurus.com…

Screen Shot 2017-01-20 at 6.16.46 PM.png

Yikes!

Images are screen shots captured 3/20/11 of http://www.visualthesaurus.com, which I like so much I have subscribed to it for the year.

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