Cameron, R 2009, 'The use of mixed methods research in VET research', Proceedings of aligning participants policy and pedagogy: traction and tension in VET research: 12th AVETRA Annual Conference, Sydney, NSW, 15-17 April.
Conference proceedings available online at http://avetra.org.au/publications/conference-archives
Mixed methods research is an emerging third methodological movement with a growing body of trans-disciplinary literature. Some say it is a movement still in its adolescence and yet to reach its maturity (Bazeley 2008; Teddlie & Tashakkori 2009). Nonetheless, the discipline fields which are showing high levels of acceptance for mixed methods are those related to education, health and the social sciences. Prominent research methodologists/authorities from across several discipline fields are emerging and guiding the commentary and the movements’ momentum, especially in Europe and the United States. This paper reports the findings of a study that has systematically reviewed papers from the 10th and 11th Annual AVETRA Conferences held in 2007 and 2008, along with journal articles published in the International Journal of Training Research from 2003-2008. The aim of the study is to provide a methodological map of the vocational education research reported at the conferences and within the journal, and in particular the use of mixed methods research in Australian based VET research. The data will be compared to similar research conducted in business and management research. Implications for research training, research capacity building and research publication are discussed with particular reference to the field of vocational education and training. Keywords: mixed methods, content analysis, VET research, postgraduate research training