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'.