Comparing and combining research approaches to empirically inform the design of subject-matter interventions: the case of fostering language learners’ strategies for word problems
Most research approaches in subject-matter education aim at informing the design of subject-matter interventions and the work of teachers in subject-matter classrooms. However, different research foci result in it being done in a more or less direct form, and conclusions that are too far reaching are often drawn that are not covered by the research study. In particular, few research questions also address the WHAT-question (What exactly must be learned?) rather than only the HOW-question (How can it be learned most effectively?). This article examines the exemplary field of fostering language learners’ reading strategies in subject-matter classrooms in order to compare what different research approaches can contribute and how they must be combined in order to provide a substantial foundation for the design of language-responsive classrooms from multiple perspectives. Using design research, language demands can be specified in subject-matter learning situations; it turns out to be crucial to take this research step before designing and evaluation interventions.