Strengthening Rigor in STEM- The Rigor/Relevance Framework

Strengthening Rigor in STEM- The Rigor/Relevance Framework

Now that we’ve discussed what rigor looks like in the classroom, we need to introduce the Rigor/Relevance Framework.  The Rigor/Relevance Framework is a graphical representation of Bloom’s Taxonomy meets the Daggett Application Model.  It is a great visual for how and why we need to establish and strengthen rigor in STEM.

Each quadrant below shows where students are performing during a particular lesson or project.  Quadrant A represents basic understanding and recall.  Quadrant C represents more sophisticated comprehension, but still is demonstrating knowledge in one discipline.  Quadrant B represents students showing knowledge and applying it and Quadrant D (where we want students to be) represents students solving problems and using their knowledge to create unique solutions.

As teachers plan lessons and create/research engagements for students, consideration should be given to where students would fall on this Framework.  In order to establish and strengthen rigor, students need to be performing in Quadrant D, which allows students to think in complex ways and use strategies for solving problems creatively.

In this series, we’ll examine different strategies for how to get (and keep) students performing consistently at a high level.


Lane specializes in STEM education, curriculum design and professional development and makes teachers’ lives easier through innovative, standards-based STEM lessons.