Introduction to the special issue: Historical and contemporary perspectives on educational evaluation


  • Lorin W. Anderson University of South Carolina (Emeritus)
  • Maria de Ibarrola Center for Research and Advanced Studies
  • D. C. Phillips Stanford University



curriculum evaluation, international evaluation, politics of evaluation, program evaluation, student evaluation, system evaluation, teacher evaluation


Most special issues on evaluation focus on one form or type of evaluation (e.g., program evaluation, personnel evaluation, and, increasingly, educational system evaluation. This special issue is unique in that there are papers on system evaluation, program evaluation, teacher evaluation, and student evaluation. Some papers are primarily conceptual, others are empirical, and still others are a little of each. Some papers are more historical, some contemporary, and some a little of each. The authors represent four countries: Canada, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States, providing an international perspective on key issues. The final paper contains six recommendations concerning the future of educational evaluation based on an analysis of commonalities across the papers.


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Author Biographies

Lorin W. Anderson, University of South Carolina (Emeritus)

Lorin W. Anderson is a Carolina Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of South Carolina, where he served on the faculty from August, 1973, until his retirement in August, 2006. During his tenure at the University he taught graduate courses in research design, classroom assessment, curriculum studies, and teacher effectiveness. He received his Ph.D. in Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistical Analysis from the University of Chicago, where he was a student of Benjamin S. Bloom. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree from Macalester College. Professor Anderson has authored and/or edited 18 books and has had 40 journal articles published. His most recognized and impactful works are Increasing Teacher Effectiveness, Second Edition, published by UNESCO in 2004, and A Taxonomy of Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, published by Pearson in 2001. He is a co-founder of the Center of Excellence for Preparing Teachers of Children of Poverty, which is celebrating its 14th anniversary this year. In addition, he has established a scholarship program for first-generation college students who plan to become teachers.

Maria de Ibarrola, Center for Research and Advanced Studies

Maria de Ibarrola is a Professor and high-ranking National Researcher in Mexico, where since 1977 she has been a faculty-member in the Department of Educational Research at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies. Her undergraduate training was in sociology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and she also holds a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Montreal (Canada) and a doctorate from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies in Mexico. At the Center she leads a research program in the politics, institutions and actors that shape the relations between education and work; and with the agreement of her Center and the National Union of Educational Workers, for the years 1989-1998 she served as General Director of the Union’s Foundation for the improvement of teachers’ culture and training. Maria has served as President of the Mexican Council of Educational Research, and as an adviser to UNESCO and various regional and national bodies. She has published more than 50 research papers, 35 book chapters, and 20 books; and she is a Past-President of the International Academy of Education.

D. C. Phillips, Stanford University

D. C. Phillips was born, educated, and began his professional life in Australia; he holds a B.Sc., B.Ed., M. Ed., and Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne. After teaching in high schools and at Monash University, he moved to Stanford University in the USA in 1974, where for a period he served as Associate Dean and later as Interim Dean of the School of Education, and where he is currently Professor Emeritus of Education and Philosophy. He is a philosopher of education and of social science, and has taught courses and also has published widely on the philosophers of science Popper, Kuhn and Lakatos; on philosophical issues in educational research and in program evaluation; on John Dewey and William James; and on social and psychological constructivism. For several years at Stanford he directed the Evaluation Training Program, and he also chaired a national Task Force representing eleven prominent Schools of Education that had received Spencer Foundation grants to make innovations to their doctoral-level research training programs. He is a Fellow of the IAE, and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Education, and has been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Among his most recent publications are the Encyclopedia of Educational Theory and Philosophy (Sage; editor) and A Companion to John Dewey’s “Democracy and Education” (University of Chicago Press).




How to Cite

Anderson, L. W., de Ibarrola, M., & Phillips, D. C. (2018). Introduction to the special issue: Historical and contemporary perspectives on educational evaluation. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 26, 45.



Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Educational Evaluation