What is Academic Rigour?
Rigour is synonymous to extreme thoroughness, meticulousness, strictness, and carefulness. Often, educators equate rigour with difficulty. However, academically rigorous learning experiences mean sufficient and appropriate challenge for students, not simply difficult. Rigorous experiences motivate students to learn more and learn it more deeply, while giving them a sense of personal achievement when they overcome the learning challenge. Lessons that are simply difficult will more likely lead to disengagement, resentment, and frustration (Glossary of Educational Reform).
In South Mansfield College, rigour means providing our students rigorous learning standards and high expectations. We hold all students to the same standards and expectations. SMC students are not allowed to settle for mediocrity, and that whatever is their colour, gender, socio-economic status, or proficiency, they all pursue a challenging course of study that will prepare them for success in life. They are given assignments that encourage them to think critically, creatively, and more flexibly. They are also afforded learning opportunities that are not intended to be harsh or overly prescriptive, but that are stimulating, engaging, and supportive.