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      The experience of and reflection on triangulation and/or mixed methods, discussing a study on the ideal and reality, use and understanding of history textbooks

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            Abstract

            This paper reflects on the achievements of triangulation but also on its inconsistencies and contradictions. It suggests that mixed methods can be confusing. Good triangulation should involve intensive reflection on a variety of materials and analyses, as well as a necessary complexity of questions and results.This implies a tolerant overlap between single-method and mixed-methods approaches. The paper illustrates these points by discussing an early example of mixed-methods research, a large project – Understanding of Textbooks, Use of Syllabuses and Processes of Reflection in History Lessons – carried out by the author in 2002. The aim of this study was to evaluate history textbooks and the ways in which historical sources and narratives were presented and used. It involved both a closed format, which produced quantitative data – a questionnaire, used to collect data on participants' knowledge, attitudes, emotions, and competences – and qualitative data collected from a subgroup of participants, who wrote short essays related to sections of the questionnaire. Some were interviewed after completing the questionnaire ('stimulated recall'). In this way, a type of two-step triangulation study emerged involving micro- and macro-analysis. The paper reflects on positive aspects of the study and also on its weakness. Participants' responses showed almost no correlation between their definition of the ideal textbook, which would deal with controversial issues, and the ways in which they used textbooks, with no recognition of the ambiguity.

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            Journal
            75011015
            History Education Research Journal
            UCL IOE Press
            1472-9474
            1472-9466
            30 April 2019
            : 16
            : 1
            : 103-111
            Article
            1472-9474(20190430)16:1L.103;1- s9.phd /ioep/herj/2019/00000016/00000001/art00009
            10.18546/HERJ.16.1.09
            9d31f1f4-020c-4490-a5e9-781ba9d4697e
            Copyright @ 2019
            History
            Categories
            Articles

            Educational research & Statistics,General education,History
            EMPIRICAL STUDIES,MIXED METHODS,INCOHERENCE/INCONSISTENCY BETWEEN BELIEFS AND PRACTICE,GERMANY,TRIANGULATION

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