What is academic rigor?
We define academic rigor as the educational experience that engages students in content appropriate to their academic level and helps them learn to analyze, evaluate, and ultimately create.
Every class students take should challenge them to learn and to connect what they are learning with other subject material. English and math classes, for example, should not be viewed as entirely unrelated. Students should understand how concepts they learn in one subject are related to concepts learned in another subject.
Why is academic rigor important?
Academic rigor is necessary for students to compete in the global market. More and more employers are looking for employees who can innovate, develop, and especially think; and students must keep up to succeed. Students must be equipped to think critically so that they can apply what they have learned to their personal and professional lives.
How do we ensure academic rigor in our textbooks?
Research. Our textbook writers research educational practices, scope and sequence, and appropriate academic standards. By understanding the best educational practices and standards, they are able to make sure that all of our textbooks are accurate and thorough.
Student materials contain descriptive text and questions that promote thinking. Photos, illustrations, maps, charts, and other media are employed to promote deeper understanding of subject matter. Teacher's editions have clear instructions to help teachers encourage learning; additional information is included for teachers to expand classroom discussions, introduce other ideas, and more.
All of the research we do helps us create materials that promote academic rigor for you and your students. So when you pick up one of our textbooks, it should be easy for you to see where these learning opportunities are.
How do I make my classroom academically rigorous?
The key is to remember that your students should be thinking and be actively engaged with the material—not passive. Lessons should be interesting yet challenging students to think at their level, but with just enough challenge to push them out of their comfort zone. Group projects, hands-on learning activities, and creative problem-solving are all great ways to promote this deeper thinking and learning.