The SAGE Handbook for Research in Education stimulates and encourages students, faculty, and educational practitioners, including individuals in education, government, and the private sector who conduct applied and policy-oriented educational research, to place the pursuit of ideas at the epicentre of their research-from framing meaningful problems to identifying and addressing key challenges to the reporting and dissemination of their findings.
We focus this chapter on the construction of data in educational research, where we understand the term “data” to mean those mathematical or textual elements that researchers use in support of their claims. Articulating issues in the construction of data that are valid for educational research in general is not an easy task because there are very different traditions or research paradigms. Ordinarily, these traditions are differentiated by the adjectives “quantitative” and “qualitative.” We do not find these terms to be useful, however, because all phenomena are characterized by the mutual constitution of quantitative and qualitative elements (Hegel, 1969). Accordingly, all so-called quantitative research requires qualitative processes (e.g., making judgments, distinguishing categories), and all so-called qualitative studies involve quantitative processes (e.g., counting ...