Jennifer L. – Meeting in the Middle: The Mixed Methods Paradigm
Meeting in the Middle: The Mixed Methods Paradigm
Jennifer L. – Doctoral student at
Kent State University
April 26, 2015, 8:00 pm, USA/New York Time Zone)
Please join the seminar by clicking on the link below within 90 minutes of the start of the seminar (Click here for technical support if needed)
All individuals come to research with inherit worldviews. These worldviews are informed by background experiences and an underlying assumption about how the world works. Not only do these worldviews inform how an individual thinks about research, but it also guides how he or she designs and interprets research. In general, worldviews have aligned with the qualitative or quantitative research paradigms. For example, if one aligns themselves with one truth and an objective reality, he or she might be considered a positivist (Sale & Brazil, 2004). In other words, this individual might be predisposed to engage in quantitative research. In contrast, if an individual’s belief systems reside in multiple realities and the belief that knowledge is created through socially constructed and ever-changing interactions, he or she may then be considered an interpretivist (Creswell, 2013). An interpretivist may then lean towards qualitative research. It is important to note that these general descriptive categories also allude to a multitude of other research frameworks (i.e. advocacy, postpositivisim), which can further be defined by a researcher’s worldviews. Within most research fields, worldviews have traditionally been polarized. We would argue, however, that this polarization is neither meaningful nor productive (Ercikan & Roth, 2006). Based on this argument, we would propose that researchers who typically identify as either qualitative or quantitative, be open to exploring a third research paradigm, mixed methods. Mixed methods research is a merging of both qualitative and quantitative methods, where “the findings must be mixed or integrated at some point” (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004, p. 20). Mixed methods research can place priority on either the qualitative or quantitative phases of a research design or can view both phases as having equal value. Additionally, mixed methods research can capitalize on the strengths of qualitative and quantitative paradigms and “provide a better understanding of the research problem than either form [qualitative or quantitative] of data alone” (Creswell, 2015). Most importantly, the mixed methods paradigm is creative and flexible and allows all individuals to come to a research problem with an appreciation of both qualitative and quantitative paradigms.
In this presentation, the presenters will provide information regarding their polarizing worldviews and diverse experiences. She will then argue for mixed methods as an option for designing research that is not only rigorous and trustworthy, but that also capitalizes on the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative research. She will further show how mixed methods research can be a viable option for team-oriented research that is cross-disciplinary. Through this presentation, the presenters will guide the participants to a foundational understanding of what we believe should be considered the third research paradigm, mixed-methods.
Creswell, J.W. (2013). Qualitative inquiry & research design: Choosing among five approaches (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Creswell, J.W. (2015). A concise introduction to mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Ercikan, K. & Roth, W.M. (2006). What good is polarizing research into qualitative and quantitative? Educational Researcher, 35(5), 14-23.
Johnson, R.B. & Onquegbuzie, A.J. (2004). Mixed methods research: A research paradigm whose time has come. Educational Researcher, 33(7), 14-26.
Sale, J.E.M. & Brazil, K. (2004). A strategy to identify critical appraisal criteria for primary mixed-methods studies. Quality & Quantity, 38, 351-365.
Meet Jennifer L. Nigh
Jennifer Nigh is a full-time doctoral student and research assistant at Kent State University where she is studying Curriculum and Instruction-Literacy. Prior to her doctoral studies, Jennifer was an elementary teacher and reading specialist. Her research interests include picture books, multicultural education, and the use of technology to inform reading development and engagement. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.