Alice Wilder has always been interested in kids, what they think and how they are educated. She started as a researcher at Skidmore College, where she worked with Mary Ann Foley, visiting schools and talking and playing with kids to better understand their point of view. While at Skidmore, she saw the 1988 movie Big, about a boy trapped in the body of man (played by Tom Hanks), who landed a job developing toys. From that time on, Alice wanted to be that character—the adult who represents the kids’ point of view in a boardroom full of grownups. She bases her work on the philosophy that ‘the only way to understand what children are capable of doing, what appeals to them, and what they know, is to ask them!’ In a room full of adults she often finds herself using the famous line from the movie, “What’s so fun about that?”
In 1995, Alice got the chance to put her philosophy into practice as the Director of Research and Development and Producer/Writer for Nick Jr.’s break-out preschool series Blue’s Clues. In this capacity, she ran the formative research process of working with the show’s audience (2-5 year olds), co-authored the curriculum on which Blue’s Clues and spin-off Blue’s Room were based, and wrote scripts, books, educational workbooks, and columns for the magazine and Nick Jr.’s website. She has been nominated for Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Preschool Children’s Series as well as Outstanding Writing in a Children’s Series. Wilder also served as the Director of Research and Development for Little Bill and Oswald, both animated series on Nick Jr.
A graduate of Columbia University’s Teachers College, Wilder earned her doctorate in Educational Psychology, where she was awarded the Miriam Goldberg Research Award for her dissertation and the Early Career Award from Teachers College. She has written numerous articles for journals related to the field and frequently presents at national conferences and in classes.