Sunday, February 1, 2015

Rigor or Rigour ... Either Way, It's Not a Four-Lettter Word

Rigor is NOT a Four-Letter Word (1st Edition, 2008 shown here)
rigor is not.jpgIn education, continuous and progressive change is important. Teachers should be responsive and foster individuality, creativity, innovation, and endeavours that foster student achievement in order for students to be successful not only in school, but also in work and life in general. 
Few people question the need for schools and classrooms to be more rigorous. But there is little agreement about what rigor is and what it looks like.  Our plan is to explain what it is (and what it is not), what we need to do in order to make it present in our school, and how to do it so that it is meaningful and authentic… This includes doing things that are engaging and motivating.
At Epiphany of Our Lord Catholic Academy, rigour in the school / classroom is the process of:
  • Creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels;
  • Each student is supported so that he or she can learn at high levels;
  • And each student demonstrates learning at high levels. 

We are proponents of a "Growth Mindset" with the understanding that all students can and will learn ... failure is not an end; rather it is part of the process of learning.
The School and parents are charged with the responsibility of supporting student learning, creating the conditions to motivate and engage students to want to learn, and to encourage and inspire students to readily demonstrate their learning (even if failure is involved, and it will be sometimes).  Students take a crucial role in this learning as well - in our philosophy of learning, a student does not "get" an A or B or D even ... the student "earns" the mark.  This makes us all (school, teachers, parents, and students) accountable and assume a discernible part of the ownership for learning.  

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