Right now, the field of education in America is rife with interest groups, political maneuvering, self-serving "experts", and an overwhelming inertia that maintains the status quo. Yet, there is widespread dissatisfaction and concern that the status quo is not educating our students to compete in the world-wide economy. In the corporate world, training must often bend to speed and efficiency at the expense of effectiveness. Here too companies are frequently disappointed that their training efforts fail to impact performance or the bottom line. In a word, we're stuck in a rut continuing to teach and learn the same ways used for 600 years, but deeply dissatisfied.
A wiki certainly cannot solve these problems. However, it might contribute to solutions in some small way by helping to identify, grow, and propagate what the world knows about effective instruction and instructional design. As such, this is not an American effort but a worldwide quest for summarizing what works and why it works, including how culture impacts the learning and teaching process.
Kevin Wilcoxon is a resident of Palm Springs, California. He works remotely as an instructional designer for two universities, and previously at two others. Before that, he was a training and organizational development manager and trainer with several organizations. He holds masters degrees in Clinical Psychology and Learning & Technology. All told, he has been in the field about twenty-five years. He has served in many capacities in organizations like ASTD (now ATD), ISPI, the Sloan Consortium, and the eLearning Guild. His current membership is with the Association for Educational Communications & Technology (AECT).
The impetus for the wiki is twofold. He has always enjoyed aggregating and summarizing information as a way to understand the world. Earning a masters in psychology was a personal way to understand people, including himself. Understanding how people learn was a big part of it. Professional practice included large doses of teaching and led to an interest in training and professional development. Having the very good fortune of working under a CEO who understood the nature and value of training and education, he learned more and more, grew the department and helped improve the organization in concrete ways. After years of training practice, his interest zeroed in on the design of instruction and a second masters degree. The wiki content germinated while working on the degree in 2005 and continues today.