Rigour, Relevance and Relationships to improve Student Awareness.


The following is a small but thought provoking snippet from the article “A Useful Framework”. To read the entire article click on the link directly above the article’s title:

Also – have attached a powerpoint I have since found. Both certainly make me think about what I am doing and where on the quadrant my teaching sits. The powerpoint is good because it has a mini-quiz which helps you further understand the quadrant.  Simple to use but very powerful.    powerpoint re rigor relevance and quadrants

Another thought! I would like to teach my students this learning quadrant so that they could evaluate where on the quadrant the different learning activities they are doing are situated. This would enable them to better understand the way the task has been constructed because they would have to deconstruct the task in order to understand the different elements. Surely, this would not only help them develop their metacognitive skills, but also allow them to make deeper connections to the task, therefore increasing the likelihood that they will be committed to the task itself. Hmmm… could have a before and after questionnaire that allows me to evaluate levels of commitment to different tasks (and understanding not only OF the task, but WHY the task has been set). Wow – lots to think about over the holidays!

(thanks twitter – mrsebiology)


A Useful Framework

To ensure the inclusion of both rigor and relevance, the International Center created the Rigor/Relevance FrameworkTM in the early 1990s for teachers to use to examine curriculum and plan instruction and assessment. The framework consists of four quadrants that reflect these two dimensions of higher standards and student achievement.

First there is the “knowledge taxonomy,” which describes the increasingly complex ways in which we think. It is based on the six levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy: knowledge/awareness, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

The second dimension is the Application Model developed by the International Center, which describes five levels of relevant learning: knowledge in one discipline, apply knowledge in discipline, apply across disciplines, apply to real-world predictable situations and apply to real-world unpredictable situations. Relevant learning is interdisciplinary and contextual. It requires students to apply core knowledge, concepts or skills to solve real-world problems.
McNulty chartIn Quadrant A (Acquisition), students learn and store bits of knowledge and information. Quadrant B (Application) requires students to use their acquired knowledge to solve practical problems. In Quadrant C (Assimilation), students extend their acquired knowledge to use it automatically and routinely to analyze problems and create unique solutions. When working in Quadrant D (Adaptation), students have the competence to think in complex ways and apply their knowledge and skills when confronting perplexing unknowns and creating solutions.


About Kate Pill

I am a Secondary School teacher who is passionate about developing students' ability to answer the "who, what, when, why, how, what if and what next" questions over the course of their learning. A "mature starter" (read as - late!) to the teaching game, I am still developing my IT street smarts. This blog will chart my own journey through the metacognition landscape as I facilitate my students' understanding of not only WHAT they are learning but HOW they are learning it. Wish me luck!

2 responses »

  1. Great stuff! Including your students in the teaching process is so valuable…. I think your intuitions are right, they’ll be more engaged in the task and be better able to handle novel tasks because of an improved metacognitive framework. Cool!

    • Thanks Vince for your feedback! I am going to use this with my mapping unit of work that I am just starting now with them as well as their current English unit of work. Then, I will use this again with their Critical Inquiry topic on Global Warming. Hopefully by the time they get to the latter topic, they will get even more out of it based on previous experience with the quadrant. Once again – thanks very much for the words of encouragement 🙂

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