This practical text equips students, researchers, and policymakers in the social sciences with the tools they need for applying mixed methods in policy research and program evaluation, from design, through data collection, and dissemination. Emphasizing the “how-to”—the set of conceptual and active tasks carried out by mixed methods researchers—the book is illustrated with rich case studies from the authors’ own research projects in education and public policy. These examples help readers identify and explain policy and program impacts and better understand the “why” and “how” of observed effects. Throughout the book, the authors describe challenges that both beginners and advanced scholars are likely to encounter when doing mixed methods research and recommend practical tools available to address them.

Fully Integrated Mixed Methods Research in K-12 and Higher Education in the United States

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The current generation of education policy research and evaluation is built on a somewhat more nuanced and contingent view of policies than in past decades (Honig, 2005). Relative to work done from the 1950s through the 1980s, today’s education policy researchers start from the premise that policy implementation is a multilevel process involving a complex interplay of policies, places, and people. Policies made at one level are interpreted and enacted by implementers at other levels, and that interpretation can vary depending on, for example, the governance level, setting, and historical moment. Administrators in charge of getting things done once policies have been adopted may interpret their charge very differently and, ...

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