Using Mixed Methods to Inform Education Policy Research
By moving from broad definitions of policy, policy inquiry, and mixed methods to the paradigmatic and analytical choices involved in conducting mixed methods research, this chapter provides guidance to education policy scholars interested in mixed methods. Recent peer-reviewed mixed methods studies on complex education policy problems illustrate how researchers have used mixed methods to interrogate these issues while attending to various perspectives and contexts. Ultimately, by outlining how to conceptualize a mixed methods inquiry for a hypothetical policy problem, we present an example of the decision-making processes essential to effective mixed methods research design. The guidance serves as a useful starting point for novices considering whether and how mixed methods research can inform their work to alleviate the complicated policy problems facing today’s education leaders.
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