Date of Award

Summer 8-10-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Early Childhood Education

First Advisor

Diane Truscott

Second Advisor

Nancy Jo Schafer

Third Advisor

Andrea Lewis

Fourth Advisor

Joyce Many

Fifth Advisor

Natalie Davis


The dissertation research examines culturally responsive practices in virtual learning settings in relation to teacher accessibility and is presented in a review and research format. The first paper constitutes a comprehensive scoping literature review that explores the proposition that virtual accessibility is an equity construct in Title 1 urban schools. A constant comparative approach (Corbin & Strauss, 2008) identifies themes in the literature related to how culturally responsive virtual learning components demonstrate support for the argument that connecting with students virtually is more than bandwidth. The review study finds that virtual accessibility is created by centering culture, building and sustaining culturally informed relationships, and fostering care. The second paper is a qualitative case study examining what is known about culturally responsive virtual learning in one second grade elementary Title 1 classroom. Collection and analysis of data occurs in four phases across 12 weeks and included bi-weekly data sets representing non-participant observations of reading or writing lessons, lesson plans, case participant interviews, and analytic memos. A constant comparative approach (Corbin & Strauss, 2008) identifies themes using Culturally Responsive Pedagogy (Gay, 2000; Ladson-Billings, 1995a, 2014) Culturally Informed Relationships (Milner, 2006), and an Ethos of Care (Jackson, Sealey-Ruiz, & Watson, 2014) theories. The case study illustrates that culturally responsive practices (CRP) can be part of virtual learning by centering culture through relationships within an intentional virtual learning community. Implications for re-tooling technologies to facilitate virtual CRP are presented.


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