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Open Access The untapped potential of mixed-methods research approaches for German history education research

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Despite some pioneering studies, mixed-methods research approaches are uncommon in the German history education community, in contrast to the general increase in mixed-methods research in the educational and social sciences. Conversely, German history education research currently appears to favour quantitative methods as opposed to qualitative approaches – at least in larger research projects. In this paper, we argue for a more inclusive research approach combining qualitative and quantitative methods. Discussion of a pioneering study from the 1980s (Jeismann et al., 1987) highlights implementation of this unusual approach to history education research in Germany. To illuminate the added value of such a mixed-methods research approach, we discuss two published German studies that respectively rely on quantitative (Trautwein et al., 2017) and qualitative (Köster, 2013) research methods. A mixed-methods approach might have illuminated each study's 'blind spots'.
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Keywords: HISTORICAL THINKING; HISTORY EDUCATION RESEARCH; LARGESCALE ASSESSMENT; MIXED METHODS; READING COMPREHENSION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • The History Education Research Journal (HERJ) is an international, open-access, peer-reviewed journal that focuses on the global significance and impact of history education. It covers all aspects of history education theory, scholarship, and pure and applied research. Articles illuminate contemporary issues, concerns, policies and practice, drawing upon the eclectic research methodologies of history education. The journal is published in partnership with the Historical Association.

    HERJ is a relaunch of the International Journal of Historical Learning Teaching and Research. All past issues up to and including vol. 15, no. 1 were published under this title. HERJ vol. 15, no. 2 is the first to be published by UCL IOE Press.
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