The Methodology and Practices of Mixed Metliods Research ： Consensuses, Controversies and Reflection
Mixed methods research ( MMR) is a kind of research that combines the elements of both- quantitative and qualitative approaches ， which not onlycombinesdifferent specific methods but also attempts to integrate theunderlying philosophies and theories. MMR was introduced in the late of 1950s，and became a distinctive methodology with the development of its underlying theoriesand applied processesduring the Paradigm War in the 1980s. Since the 1990s ， MMR has developed into a relatively complete methodology as well as a popular research design. Advocates harshly criticize the viewpoint that different paradigms and method-sare notcompatible. They argue that ： a) MMR reveals the continuity of paradigmsin that different paradigms do not oppose completely；) even if different paradigms might beincompatible， specific methods still can be mixed; c) MMR has complementary advantages over quantitative or qualitative research. Thecriticisms provide space for the development of MMR. Moreover， pragmatism， as a widely acceptedparadigm， provides MMR with anunderlying philosophy. However， many researchers question the selection of pragmatism as the paradigm of MMR， as pragmatism seems to be a perfect excuse for researchers to escape reflectingits underlying philosophy. In practice， researchers should first respond to why they choose the design of MMR ( DM- MR) . In particular ， they should clarify the process and function of the integration. The integration tends tooc-curwhere the qualitative research and the quantitative research joinor when researchers attempt to reachthe conclusions from different parts. It can promote the research or mutual attestation ， complementation or innovative conclusions. Based on the sequence，and status of the qualitativeand quantitative research as well as the process and function of integration ， DMMR can be divided intothree categories ： parallel design ， quantitative-qualitative sequence design ， and qualitative-quantitative sequence design. Researchers may reorganize the three designs according toparticularresearch questions and research conditions. Currently ， researchers still have to face the problems with data collection and analysis ， data translation ， conclusion integration ， and the judgment of inference quality when they choose DMMR. In addition ， they shouldfirst prove the rationality of the choice of MMR and provide a panoramic research process and conclusion in the articles. Finally ， an investigation is conductedon35 MMRsfrom 330 educational doctoral dissertations ， which reveals that few re- searchers prove the rationality of DMMR or try to integrate the conclusions from different approaches. Thedoc-toral candidates seem to choose MMR because MMR has become a fashion ， not that they need to integrate different solutions to their research questions more efficiently. In sum ， Chinese researchers should pay more at- tention to addressing MMR in a moresystematic way.
|關鍵詞||混合方法研究、方法论、范式、研究设计、mixed methods、researchmethodology、paradigm、research design|