Addressing the "Research Gap" in Special Education Through Mixed Methods

Klingner, Janette K.; Boardman, Alison G.
August 2011
Learning Disability Quarterly;Aug2011, Vol. 34 Issue 3, p208
Academic Journal
At least some of the challenges faced in special education, such as the disproportionate representation of culturally and linguistically diverse students, the gap between research and practice, and inequitable educational opportunities, can be explained in part by a research gap, or, in other words, a failure to conduct the different types of research best suited for addressing the complicated issues faced in schools. In this article we discuss the benefits of being more open to and welcoming of mixed methods when conducting special education research. We provide an overview of mixed-methods research and explain different philosophical concepts associated with mixed methods. We emphasize why it is important to foreground culture when conducting educational research. We also compare educational research with research in the medical field and challenge the notion of randomized controlled trials as the "gold standard." We finish by sharing an example of our own mixed-methods research.


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