Date of Award


Document Type


Copyright Status, No Creative Commons License

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Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership for Diverse Learning Communities



First Advisor

Dr. Tricia Kress


This critical, transformative auto|ethnography highlights power relations and culture as it documents my four-month collaborative journey with co-teachers and their students in their fifthgrade suburban school in Northeastern New York. This study describes how Ms. K., a general educator, and Ms. D, a special educator, negotiated power and reimagined a culture of belonging through the shift to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The co-teachers’ interactions were analyzed on macro, meso, and micro levels with data sources, including transcripts from cogenerative dialogues and semi-structured interviews, written reflections through student journaling, researcher’s journal, and other artifacts. A theoretical bricolage guided my descriptions of internal and external communications that resulted in each co-teacher distributing personal forms of power. I developed a Story in Story (SiS) approach to organize and analyze data across multiple perspectives. I also developed the Relational Co-teaching Framework to explain interactions that empowered each co-teacher to belong to and with one another as a precondition for cultivating a culture of belonging that permeated through their environment and praxis. This study implies a structure for guiding equitable co-teaching experiences that may change educators’ views of students with disabilities from deficit model toward strengths- based perspective. My study also raises the important idea about how we think about culture. Although culture was no longer connected to the physical classroom, it was recreated through Ms. D’s and Ms. K’s relationship as a new virtual way of applying cogenerative dialogues was applied resulting in the co-creation of their culture of belonging.

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