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Do We Want Rigorous Education?

"The longer I live, the more I believe the effects of birth order in our lives." —Frances Weaver


The Public Education Network's Weekly NewsBlast for July 5, 2002 offered this tidbit...

"While some adults may shake their heads at the changing lexicon of students, Sara Matthews noticed much the same phenomenon in the language of educators. The current word of fashionable choice is 'rigorous.' All schools proudly claim to be 'rigorous,' and all teachers within schools are eager to have their classes and curricula be rigorous. Indeed, rigorous schools, rigorous classrooms, and a rigorous curriculum are all in keeping with current recommendations. 'When you don't know a word, look it up,' Ms. Matthews tells her students. So, taking her own advice, she went to the dictionary and found these definitions of rigorous: 1. very strict or harsh, 2. very severe or sharp. How did the word 'rigorous' come to be the mantra of modern-day education -- and what does it say about us?"

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