Intertwined – A Social History Narrative of A. Job. Halfyard: The Interrelationship between Educators, Leadership and Rural Development in Post-Confederation Newfoundland and Labrador

Sharon Halfyard, PhD Candidate

As an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. candidate I am thrilled to have the opportunity to return to my passion for research and education about Newfoundland and Labrador, its people, culture and history.  It has always been my goal to seek out, examine and present knowledge and stories that may be loss, if not recorded and presented in a fashion that will engage young and old alike, both, in the academic or educational world, as well as in the everyday world of ordinary citizens.  I am especially excited about conducting research, for the first time, in the part of the province where I grew-up – the White Bay/Green Bay area including the communities of La Scie, Tilt Cove, Roberts Arm and Port Anson.

For my research I will be conducting a social history narrative case study to investigate the interrelationship between educators, leadership and rural community development in post-Confederation NL.  The primary goal of my research is to contribute to a better understanding of the multiple roles played by rural educators in community development during the post-Confederation years with the aim of providing insight for present day educators and community stakeholders.  The study will be a multi-disciplinary examination of rural education, place, identity, community development, grassroots leadership, social history and socio-economic development in the White Bay/Green Bay area of the province. Using my father’s life history as a case study, I will examine the following question:

  • What insights for rural NL can be gained about educational leadership and the characteristics of community leaders by conducting a life history case study of A. Job Halfyard and his work as an educator in the White Bay/Green Bay area from 1949 – 2012?

This research is being supervised by Dr. Ursula Kelly form the Faculty of Education, Dr. Diane Tye from the Department of Folklore and Dr. Kelly Vodden from the Department of Geography.