This study examines the parent-school relationships and its impact on inclusive learning. The researcher has selected the mixed research method to conduct the study, thereby, combining the qualitative and quantitative approaches. The researcher will gather quantitative data through open-ended questionnaires, while qualitatively the semi-structured interviews and observation study will be conducted. The multiple databases collected through the mixed approach are expected to draw on the advantages of both the qualitative and quantitative research methods for a deeper understanding of the collaboration between the school and parents (Lichtman 2010). This method also helps enhance the reliability and validity of the research findings. A mixed method design can be defined as “collecting, analyzing and “mixing” both quantitative and qualitative research and methods in a single study to understand the research problem” (Creswell & Clark 2007 in Creswell 2008, p.552). While the quantitative research allows for data collection from a wider sample size with greater generalizability of its results, the qualitative research provides an opportunity to gather in-depth information about individuals, settings or phenomena. (Creswell 2008). Highlighting the close relationship between qualitative and quantitative approaches, Long (2000) elaborates that majority of the quantitative research does involve qualitative decisions while qualitative approaches also often lead to a quantitative analysis. Therefore, a blend of the two methods that emerges from such studies is expected to enhance insights into parent-school relationship and its influence on the success of inclusive education.
The Triangulation design of mixed method has been adopted in this study. Triangulation of data means to, “simultaneously collect both quantitative and qualitative data, merge the data, and use the results to understand a research problem.” (Creswell 2008, p.557). The rationale for this design is that it enhances the research findings by capitalizing on the strength of one form of data collection while easing the weakness of the other (McMillan & Schumacher 2010). The triangulation design does enhance the credibility of the study, but it also often poses difficulty in merging and comparing multiple databases (Creswell 2008). Inconsistent results can lead to further collection of more data or the collated databases might need to be revisited so as to arrive at a consensus of results. Therefore, the procedures for all forms of data collection need to be standardized. The more standardized the data form, the easier it is to aggregate and quantify the data.
This study proposes to apply the close-ended questionnaire to examine selected factors concerning parent-school relationship. These questionnaires encourage respondents to provide a brief answer for the preset response options thus proving useful while comparing responses. Creswell (2008) however cautions against the...