Choosing and Justifying Robust Methods for Educational Research

In our recent editorials (Cai et al., 2019a, 2019b), we discussed the important roles that research questions and theoretical frameworks play in conceptualizing, carrying out, and reporting mathematics education research. In this editorial, we discuss the methodological choices that arise when one has articulated research questions and constructed at least a rudimentary theoretical framework. Just as the researcher must justify the significance of research questions and the appropriateness of the theoretical framework, we argue that the researcher must thoroughly describe and justify the selection of methods. Indeed, the research questions and the theoretical framework should drive the choice of methods (and not the reverse). In other words, a sufficiently well-specified set of research questions and theoretical framework establish the parameters within which the most productive methods will be selected and developed.

Journal for Research in Mathematics Education

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