The Merits of Triangulation: The Evaluation of New Zealand School Leadership Development Programs Using Mixed-Methods Research


Triangulation is a commonly used term often associated with enhancing the validity of findings from your research study. In this case, we identify both the merits and challenges of drawing on multiple forms of triangulation, particularly when a mixed-methods design is a suitable methodology. We draw on our experiences with a mixed-methods research design used to evaluate the effectiveness of two national school leadership development programs. Both were funded and promoted by the New Zealand Government's Ministry of Education. In our research, triangulation was utilized in two ways. First, we followed the mixed-methods literature definition by using the term ‘triangulation’ to describe conceptual research design models. Second, we employed the general research literature use of the term to categorize the comparison and contrast of data. We found, however, that what appears straightforward in theory with triangulation does not necessarily easily translate to application, particularly in mixed-methods research.

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