Afterword: Key questions for thought and action


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



Context, stakeholders, evaluation, mixed methods, technical quality, interpretation, outcomes


In this summary article, six recommendations for the design, implementation, and interpretation of educational evaluations are presented and discussed. These recommendations are based on common “threads” that run through most, if not all, of the papers included in this special issue. The recommendations concern (1) the need for awareness of the political, societal, cultural, and economic factors affecting evaluation studies; (2) the importance of knowing and understanding the stakeholder groups; (3) the need to ensure that the purposes of the evaluation are explicit and clear; (4) the importance of allowing flexibility in the implementation of the evaluation when needed to account for issues that arise during the evaluation process; (5) the need to ensure that the data gathered as part of the evaluation process are of the highest technical quality possible; and the (6) importance of ensuring that the results of the evaluation are interpreted correctly and well understood by stakeholders and decision makers.


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Author Biography

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.




How to Cite

Anderson, L. W. (2018). Afterword: Key questions for thought and action. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 26, 55.



Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Educational Evaluation