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Sampling: Rationale and Rigor in Choosing What to Observe
Sampling: Rationale and rigor in choosing what to observe

The best research ideas and most elegant methods can be laid to waste if trained on poorly specified observations, yet the importance of the choice of sampling strategy in education research gets woefully little attention. I strongly believe that the general logic of exemplary inquiry is one that starts with theory and progresses to an assessment of the fit between what should be (theory) and what is (empirical observation). Less than thoughtful and deliberate specification of what to observe when testing propositions embedded within our theories can lead to the failure of what might be an otherwise rigorous assessment of presumed relationships. Those things we choose to observe ...

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