Becoming a Mixed Methods Researcher: Successes, Failures, and Lessons Learned Along the Way

  • Chad West
Part of the Landscapes: the Arts, Aesthetics, and Education book series (LAAE, volume 23)


I have to admit my first thought when asked to write a personal narrative was, ‘the last thing this world needs is another narcissistic self-proclamation.’ But as I thought about my personal journey as a music education mixed methods researcher, I realized there are relatively few of us out there right now and my story might inspire future music education mixed methods researchers on their journeys. In this narrative, I describe how I became a music education mixed methods researcher. Themes include the following: (a) QUAN master’s education, QUAL doctoral education—never the twain shall meet; (b) mixed methods was a taboo subject, which made it sexy; (c) wanting my own identity as a researcher; (d) doing it all backwards by starting with a method in mind and then developing the purpose statement and research questions; and (e) trying to publish mixed methods studies. From my first master’s-level research class to the initial seduction of mixed methods research which led to a new emerging identity, to my completely backward approach to conducting a study, to my subsequent publications and modest successes within the field, it has been a rewarding journey, and one that I hope is only beginning. Stories and narrative are used extensively throughout to create a light-hearted reflexive account of my successes, failures, and lessons learned along the way.


Publishing Researcher identity Doctoral education Masters research World-views Design 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Music Education, James J. Whalen Center for MusicIthaca CollegeIthacaUSA

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