My name is Bill Zoellick. I am a retired educator who conducted education research and evaluation at the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park. I’m still associated with Schoodic Institute, now with the title of “Educator Emeritus.” Since retirement, I seem to be as busy as ever.
I still work frequently with colleagues at the RiSE Center at the University of Maine and elsewhere. Over the past few years, I have been increasingly involved in two areas of inquiry and work with schools. The first revolves around the idea that, particularly in rural communities, schools are essential to a community’s vitality and its ability to respond to change. Since responding to change involves making decisions in the midst of uncertainty, an important part of what schools can bring to their communities is assistance in collecting data, making sense of it, and then using those data to inform decisions. And that leads to my second area of inquiry and work with schools, which revolves around helping teachers do more to help students develop know-how, competence, and comfort in working with data.
And, in addition to those two BIG things that I think about … I also just read a lot about schools and teaching, which of course raises more questions and things to wonder about.
This blog is a way to share some of what I learn and to raise questions about what I don’t understand.
About the Opinions Expressed Here
The opinions, views, understandings, and misunderstandings expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the Schoodic Institute, organizations that fund my work, or of the many partner organizations that I work with and learn from. I am indebted to conversations with colleagues in schools, at the University of Maine, at the Schoodic Institute, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and many other places for insights, inspiration, new ideas, and interesting problems to work on. I am particularly grateful to the teachers who regularly take time to talk to me about what they are doing, what is working, and what concerns them. I hope that some of them will see some of their thinking in my work, but it wouldn’t be fair to them to hold them accountable for what you read here.
I should add that I am always interested in new insights and a good counter-arguments. So, if you read something here that seems misinformed, incomplete, or contrary to your experience, please add a comment.