MIXED METHODS RESEARCH: INTEGRATING QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE APPROACHES IN THE SOCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES

A. Breitenbach

University of Frankfurt (GERMANY)
Notwithstanding the continuing "paradigm war" among the different methodological directions, looking back on a history of several decades, this presentation will argue for an integration of quantitative and qualitative methods in the sociological and educational science.
Both the qualitative and quantitative paradigms have weaknesses which, to a certain extent, could be compensated for by the strengths of each other.

Quantitative and qualitative research therefore may not be regarded as a contrast, but rather concrete models must be shown how both techniques are to be interconnected.

This presentation wants to close this gap by showing the diverse ways of combining at different levels of analysis. The main focus is drawn on the research design: different combination models are introduced and on the basis of the concrete example of a German literacy study the practical use possibilities in the research practice exemplified.

This can be used as a suggestion in order to grasp not always on that, proved procedures back, but to use skilled the strengths of the particular method and to obtain therewith optimum results.