Rigor: Define & Embrace!

Are you wondering about rigor?  For many educators, it is a negative term that means "harder' or "double the work".  Barbara's internationally recognized, practical, teacher-friendly concept of instructional rigor includes high expectations, scaffolding for instruction, and demonstration of learning.


Rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels, and each is supported so he or she can learn at high level, and each student demonstrates learning at high level.  (Blackburn, 2008).


Barbara's Books on Rigor.


For more information, download and read the Beginner's Guide to Rigor.

The Beginner's Guide to Rigor
A short, four page introduction to the concept of instructional rigor. It includes information on the purpose of rigor, a definition of rigor, and examples of rigor in the classroom.
The Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Ri[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [9.1 MB]



A New Perspective On Rigor: The Impact

"There has been so much talk about how we (teachers) are not challenging our students, and frankly, I was a little frustrated.  I wasn't sure if I was good enough, but no one could explain what rigor looked like in the classroom.  I was amazed to hear you and then read your book.  WOW! Finally, a definition of rigor that is all inclusive rather than just focusing on tests or more homework.  Then, I found practical strategies I could integrate with my existing instruction to make rigor a regular part of my classroom.  Thank you for being a teacher who talks to teachers!  Thank you!"

Teacher, Atlanta, Georgia


"Barbara breaks down the myths about rigor and shows that it’s really about putting students first. She provides useful tools for setting clear expectations and scaffolding instruction so that all students can reach higher levels of learning." 

Annette Breaux, internationally-recognized education expert, speaker, and author of the bestselling book, Seven Simple Secrets

Rigor Resources

Quick-links to material in the Free Resources portion of this site: