QUALITATIVE REPORT, vol.27, no.7, pp.1239-1263, 2022 (ESCI)
As a relatively young approach, mixed methods research (MMR) is a highly practical method to employ in special education due to its challenges and gains for the researchers. In this qualitative study, our aim is to explore the experiences and opinions of the researchers who completed their graduate thesis studies via MMR in special education in Turkey. We depended on hermeneutic (interpretive) phenomenological design and conducted focus group discussions with eight participants. Inductive thematic analysis has yielded four themes: (1) discovering the nature of MMR, (2) the reasons to opt for MMR, (3) the experience in conducting MMR, and (4) suggestions. The findings have revealed that understanding the mixed paradigm is a challenging task which requires a change in the mindset of researcher. Its strong functional features for special education have directed researchers towards MMR. However, many challenges raise the question: "to what extent do studies meet the MMR quality standards?" The limitations we observed in the theses have indicated that the quality standards are not adequately reflected. The relatively new nature of the method, researchers' lack of knowledge and experience, and insufficient support from the supervisor were the sources of the challenges according to our findings. We can say that there is also a need for studies discussing the implementation of the method in special education and for guidelines that will plot a route.