Rigor: The Irvington Understandings
On Tuesday, October 24, 2017, the Irvington Board of Education, District administration and school principals shared a deep conversation on the topic of instructional rigor. Employing a text-based discussion protocol that utilized multiple print resources including the article Rigor Redefined, by Tony Wagner and calling upon school-based and personal experiences, this collection of school district leaders collaborated on developing a common understanding of the concept of rigor that will be used to guide our on-going work and will inform our aspirations for our students learning experiences.
These understanding also align with IUFSD’s Theory of Action 1:
Theory of Action
If we provide students with rigorous, authentic learning experiences rooted in a comprehensive curriculum, then they will acquire the knowledge, skills and dispositions of successful 21 st Century learners that will prepare them to thrive in a rapidly evolving global society.
In order to develop successful 21st Century learners that will be prepared to thrive in a rapidly evolving global society, the Irvington School District will:
● provide students with rigorous authentic, learning experiences
● develop a comprehensive curriculum that includes:
○ aligned and articulated content
○ defined learning outcomes
○ a balanced and systematic approach to assessment
○ 21 st Century skills and dispositions - problem solver, flexible thinker, collaborative learner, effective communicator, empathetic citizen, and self-reliant, reflective, creative, risk-taker.
Rigor: Our Understandings
In the Irvington Union Free School District, we believe instructional rigor to include the following characteristics:
● Risk taking, critical thinking, and the development of problem solving skills;
● Belief that failure is a learning experience and “productive struggle” in learning is productive;
● Differentiated learning opportunities;
● 21st Century learning dispositions;
● Inclusion of optimal learning environments;
● Emotional component of learning;
● Developmentally appropriate instruction and learning;
● Evidenced through the transfer of skills and knowledge;
● Students demonstrate the cognitive “heavy lifting” with teacher support;
● Personalized learning and student agency;
● Regular and thorough student feedback;
● Consistent high expectations;
● Measurement of student learning and growth;
● Safe-space for exploration;
● Self confidence and value for resiliency;
● Embedded through curriculum design; and
● Support through professional learning and teacher coaching and observation.