Mixed-Methods Approach

Complex problems demand complex answers. An econometric analysis of PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) test results’ correlations with different governance factors proves to be a privileged way of analyzing relationships across a broad range of cases in statistically

Table 5.1 Governance factors in the educational sector in Chile and Uruguay





Decentralized model in which schools are administered by local governments (“municipios”).

Extremely centralized and hierarchical model.

Provision and financing

Subsidies to demand

Classic “teaching State” model, no subsidies to demand.


Teachers’ incentive system based on students’ results.

Implementation of very few incentives.


Information on school quality disseminated to the community to promote parents’ choice and competitiveness among schools.

Information on school quality used for decision-making but rarely disseminated to the public.

significant ways. However, this form of quantitative explanation does not necessarily account for causality, nor does it illuminate the mechanisms under which relationships take place. For this purpose, this project employs a mixed-methods approach to the research question at hand. Using multiple approaches can help capitalize the strengths of the different approaches employed (and transcend their limitations) as well as help account for greater degrees of complexities and nuances to social issues and problems (Tashakkori and Teddlie 2003).

Table 5.2 summarizes the different methodological approaches used in this study, as well as the sources of information that they will use and the desired results sought by each.

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