Note to Self:
When you describe critical thinking, use the word "critical thinking." When you describe challenging work, use the word "difficult" or "challenging." I get it. Sometimes you have to use the trendy edu-word, but this word is trendy in all the wrong ways. It's the Lady Gaga of educational nomenclature. What does it mean anyway? Is it more work? Is it more difficult work? The truth is that you're not after work at all. You want to see learning. Screw the rigor. If it's meaningful, it will be challenging. If it helps kids think better about life, it's enduring. And ultimately enduring, meaningful and interesting will always be more valuable than rigorous.