It is time to redefine academic rigor from pencil-and-paper drudgery to active learning. L & E Academy in Kirkland engages students with flipped lessons and project-based learning. The PlayMaker School in Los Angeles (recently featured on PBS’s NewsHour) is innovating through games.
When students are creative and empowered to take action, learning comes to life. Battles between teens and parents over busy-work homework end. PlayMaker’s CEO Lucien Vattel explains, “I think of rigor in a very hyper-dimensional way. Being a highly knowledgeable and highly adaptive, self-driven, well-rounded human being. That is my definition of rigor.…it’s more how we are teaching it and what kinds of additional knowledge skills and abilities are enabled by engaging it in an interactive, authentic way that’s more life reflective, that gets us to a person who can be driven by their own passions, who can understand things at a complex level to be able to engage in discourse at a complex level and to negotiate that information and their emotions…at a high level.” Now THAT is rigor!
We need to demand that education moves into the 21st Century with rigor that empowers students to take ownership of their learning…and perhaps even play?!