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Lorin W Anderson

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Lorin W Anderson Professor Lorin W. Anderson (laʊrɪn /ˈæn.dɚ.sən/); born May 21, 1945) is an American educational psychologist who is a Carolina Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of South Carolina. L. W. Anderson, once a student of Benjamin Bloom has made significant contributions to Bloom’s Taxonomy (1949) with co-author David Krathwohl in 2001 known as the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy. Although the modifications of the Bloom’s Taxonomy appear to be minor, the revised version has significantly influenced the teaching and learning process in the 21st century. On July 5, 2019, Professor Emeritus Anderson has been recognized by Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, as a leader in the field of higher education. Consequently, Anderson, PhD was presented an Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award for his decades of professional experience and work that has contributed in his field of research.

Education and academic career[edit]

Anderson earned a bachelor’s degree from Macalester College. He then continued his academic pursuits by reading for a Master of Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. In 1973, Anderson was a student of renowned American Psychologist, Dr Benjamin Bloom (1913-1999) at the University of Chicago, where he received his doctoral degree. Bloom’s research on the human’s mental abilities and potentials in their diverse environments influenced Anderson’s own research over the years and it has led him to make noteworthy contributions to Bloom’s original work on the role of education and the concept of mastery learning. Anderson has spent most of his professional career in the faculty of education at the University of South California for 33 years. At the University of South California, Anderson taught graduate courses in curriculum development, research design, assessment, and evaluation He retired in August 2006, becoming a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the university. Since his retirement, Anderson does freelance consultancy for educators and policy makers. The International Academy of Education inducted Anderson as a member of their body.


Anderson researches and publishes in the areas of classroom instruction and assessment, curriculum development, and creating effective teaching strategies for impoverished children in the United States, Eastern Europe, and South America. Anderson was primarily influenced by his professor Dr Benjamin Bloom on the three domains of learning: cognitive, affective and psychomotor. Anderson directed his research on learners becoming masters of subjects, rather than merely regurgitating content learned through rote.

In 1958, Dr Benjamin Bloom created the eponymous Bloom’s Taxonomy as a model to help educators foster higher thinking and learning in each learner. L.W Anderson researched the hierarchical models of the taxonomy and determined that Bloom made significant development in the cognitive domain but needed to expound on the effectiveness of the two remaining domains: the affective and psychomotor which would have highlighted learning as just more than knowing facts. In the 1990s, L. W Anderson, former student of Bloom, reviewed and presented a modification of the original Bloom’s Taxonomy. Anderson teamed up with David Krathwohl, who had studied with Bloom and co-authored elements of Bloom's Taxonomy, particularly, the Affective Domain. The modifications in Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy model has been categorized into the following areas: Terminology, structure and target audience (emphasis).

Bloom taxonomy


The terminologies of the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy use verbs as opposed to Bloom’s original use of nouns in the cognitive domains. Anderson’s use of verbs in the taxonomy converts the teaching objectives from passive to an active perspective to teaching and learning. The use of verbs solidifies Bloom’s original objective which is to promote how actively educators can improve content delivery activities to cater to their learners. The main purpose of Anderson (2001) et al to modify the terminology to more active terms, is to emphasize that thinking is an active process. The new learning objectives proposed for educators seek to influence them in creating meaningful lessons to enable students to understand, apply, analyze and evaluate the validity of the content presented rather than solely remembering the information given. In turn, students will create a new pattern or structure from the information that was presented.


Evaluating, which was the ultimate achievement in the original hierarchical model is lowered to a penultimate position. Creating new elements or structures from the original information is moved from its original penultimate position to the most complex achievement in the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy. L W Anderson reasoned that a learner may have the ability to evaluate information learned without creatively building a new context or idea from the information that was presented. Anderson hypothesizes that this new order in the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy broadens its role in aiding educators at all levels of education as opposed to just one level: the early childhood.

Target audience[edit]

The original Bloom’s taxonomy was a model highly recommended for educators mainly at the early childhood level. Bloom’s original taxonomy had learners thinking at a very basic level to modelling that basic information into whether it would be useful. Anderson’s modification of the revised taxonomy emphasizes a general language that transcends to varied levels of education: basic, primary, secondary, tertiary and even adult learning. The inclusion of wider target audiences is making the Revised Bloom’s taxonomy relevant in the 21st century teaching and learning process of the 21st century.


In 2015, Ana Serrano and Jackie Dewar reviewed and critiqued elements of the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy. They reported that the revised taxonomy does not explicitly emphasize the values of education. They stated added that the new model highlighted the change in performance instead of transformation. They also think that there is overlapping between and within the hierarchy.

Major Publications[edit]

Professor L.W Anderson has authored or edited seventeen books and monographs. In addition, he contributed chapters to 18 at least edited books. He also authored or co-authored at least 37 journal articles. These are some of the following:

  • De Ibarrola, M. & Anderson, L. W. (Eds.) (2014). The nurturing of new educational researchers: Dialogues and debates. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
  • Morgan, G. B., Hodge, K. J., Trepinski, T., M., & Anderson, L. W. (2014). The stability of teacher performance and effectiveness: Implications for policies concerning teacher evaluation. Educational Policy Analysis Archives, 22(95), 1-18. [1]
  • Anderson, L. W. (Ed.) (2013). Teaching for learning: A reference guide for results-oriented teachers. Thessalonki, Greece: Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe.
  • Anderson, L. W. (2004). Increasing teacher effectiveness, Second edition. Paris: UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning.
  • Anderson, L. W. (Ed.) & Krathwohl, D. R. (Ed.) (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. New York: Longman.
  • Pellicer, L.O., Anderson, L. W. (1995). A Handbook for Teacher Leaders. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.
  • Anderson, L.W. (1986). Understanding Teacher Behavior in the Classroom: A Must for Sound Evaluation. https://doi.org/10.1177/019263658607049014
  • Anderson, L.W., Burns, R. B. (1987). Values, Evidence, and Mastery Learning. https://doi.org/10.3102/00346543057002215
  • Anderson, L.W., Scott, C.C. (1978). The Relationship Among Teaching Methods, Student Characteristics, and Student Involvement in Learning. https://doi.org/10.1177/002248717802900323


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