Studying Teacher Preparation for Linguistic Diversity: Promoting Triangulation While Minimizing Cost


Researchers studying complex phenomena with qualitative or mixed methods often triangulate findings (i.e., use multiple methods and sources of data that converge to support claims). When researchers have limited time and money, how is it possible to triangulate findings? This case addresses this question in the context of the researchers’ efforts to improve preservice teacher preparation for work with English language learners. Despite limited time and funding, the researchers made choices allowing data and method triangulation (multiple sources of data and methods of data collection). The case also demonstrates research design allowing corroboration of findings while minimizing cost in terms of time and money through techniques such as intentional sampling, use of pre-existing instruments, decisions about where to use or not use methods triangulation, and decisions about what or which data not to collect. There are benefits to choosing complimentary sources of data intentionally to support and nuance a study’s findings; it is also important to select methods of data that match both existing resources and other needs to reduce the burden of data collection and analysis.

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