Weaving an interpretivist stance throughout mixed methods research
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© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. A recurring debate in mixed methods research involves the relationship between research methods and research paradigms. Whereas some scholars appear to assume that qualitative and quantitative research methods each necessarily belong with particular research paradigms, others have called for greater flexibility and have taken a variety of stances toward the integration of paradigms and methods in mixed-method studies. In this article, we review these arguments and stances, positioning ourselves in favour of flexible (but intentional) integration of any research method with any research paradigm. We then draw on a recent study of teachers’ experiences of professional development to provide an illustration of how a single paradigm can be used to inform the entirety of a mixed methods study, including study design, data collection, analysis and reporting. This illustration is particularly noteworthy since past mixed-method studies that have been grounded in a single paradigm have typically used the post-positivist paradigm, whereas our study involved an interpretive stance and a social constructivist epistemology. This article may, therefore, provide a useful resource for those considering the design of mixed methods studies as well as a practical demonstration to support theoretical claims in support of moving away from binary methods–paradigm associations and assumptions.
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