A Sense of Themselves
Contains Photos, Bibliography, Index
Alexander D. Gregor is director of the Centre for Higher Education
Research and Development at the University of Manitoba and the co-editor
of Postsecondary Education in Canada: The Cultural Agenda.
Community leader and educator Elizabeth Murray (1917–1996) spent her
life in Nova Scotia. More than a celebration of her remarkable life and
career, this delightful biography is a scholarly study by an academic
with personal experience in the areas of teaching and leadership that
consumed her subject’s life.
Murray began her career as a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse. She
moved on to work with education students from Acadia University. A
formal study of music led to her involvement with a range of community
choirs and her subsequent appointment as regional representative (from
1947–52) for the newly established adult education division of the
Nova Scotia Department of Education. After playing a central role in the
creation of the provincial Festival of the Arts, and in the
establishment of a music services unit within the Education Department,
Murray worked in a Halifax inner-city school. Her involvement in music
education throughout the province continued after her retirement.
Without making the book any less accessible to the general reader,
Harris does a nice job of explaining the ethnographic approach
underlying her study, as well as the theory base in leadership and
feminist scholarship. A Sense of Themselves will appeal to scholars of
leadership, education, and women’s studies; those interested in the
social history of Nova Scotia; and those many people who carry fond
memories of the subject.