ERIC Number: ED493210
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Sep
Combining Methods in Educational and Social Research. Conducting Educational Research
Gorard, Stephen; Taylor, Chris
Open University Press
There is growing interest in the possibilities of combining research approaches in education and social sciences, as dissatisfaction mounts with the limitations of traditional mono-method studies and with the schism between quantitative and qualitative methods. This book argues the case for combining multiple research methods, and provides much-needed practical guidance for researchers who want to use this mixed-methods approach. The authors believe that all research has an over-arching logic and that, within this, the fruitful combination of quantitative and qualitative methods is possible. They develop the idea of the "new" education and social researcher, for whom the combination of approaches is a representation of a diverse skills base, rather than a matter of ideological or theoretical allegiance. The book outlines and evaluates methods that are currently used, and looks at combining different methods across and within studies, including complex interventions, Bayesian approaches, new political arithmetic, triangulation, life histories and design studies. It offers a radical, new and very simple way of working with numbers. Following a preface, this book is divided into eight chapters: (1) A Third Methodological Movement: Challenging the Dominance of Single Methods; (2) Simple Numeric and Textual Data: Querying the Divide; (3) Triangulation and Combining Methods across Studies; (4) The "New" Political Arithmetic: A Policy Case Study; (5) Understanding Life Histories by Varying the Scale; (6) The Interplay of Scale and Type: Complex Interventions; (7) The Promise of Design Studies; (8) What Is the Current Prevalence of Combined Methods Research?; (9) Theory as a Barrier to the Combination of Research Methods; and (10) Prospects for the "New" Education and Social Science Researcher. A list of references and an index are also included.
Descriptors: Measures (Individuals), Researchers, Methods Research, Arithmetic, Research Methodology, Interdisciplinary Approach, Policy Analysis, Theory Practice Relationship, Biographies, Social Science Research, Scoring Rubrics, Content Analysis, Educational Research
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Publication Type: Books; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Students; Practitioners
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