Quality of Research Based on Design-Based Research Approach

Using an Example from Early Childhood Talent Research



Early childhood education, “Kleine BegInNa,” scientific talent test, design-based research, DBR, quantitative study, exploratory factor analysis, Germany, pre-school age


Over the past decades, the demand for scientific research to link theory and practice so that innovative solutions can be developed through research has steadily increased (Klees & Tillmann, 2015; Sandoval & Bell, 2004). In this context, the design-based research (DBR) approach was developed, which examines the research object and the research setting from multiple perspectives through a cyclical-iterative process (Shavelson et al., 2003; Reinmann, 2005). The connection between research and practice is not only relevant for school contexts, but also for early childhood education (Schäfers & Wegner, 2021a). Therefore, the project “Kleine BegInNa” utilizes the DBR approach. A preliminary examination revealed that early promotion has a great influence on the children's later school performance, yet that there is not any test to survey their competences. However, this is essential in order to be able to offer appropriate support. In the prototyping phase, a scientific talent test for pre-school aged children was developed. This test was validated in several cycles in the assessment phase (Schäfers & Wegner, 2022a). The last validity test for the elicitation of the internal structure by an exploratory factor analysis shows that both the loadings and the screeplot, output one factor. This one factor solution explains 43.56% of the variance. This may be the “scientific talent” factor, which needs to be verified in further studies and by confirmatory factor analysis. While Reinmann (2022) has established comprehensive standards for science and methodology in DBR, we also focus on what extent conventional quality criteria for qualitative and quantitative research can be applied to a DBR approach.