Elma Harder was born in
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
She grew up on a prairie farm, picking berries and vegetables in the family garden, collecting eggs in the hen house and driving the grain truck during
harvest. The first school she attended was a two-room schoolhouse, where she
shared the same classroom with students from Grade 1 to 5.
Later, she went on to study in the fields of education (B.Ed.,
University of Saskatchewan, 1980), theology (B.Th., Canadian Mennonite Bible
College, 1977), home economics (B.Sc. in Home Economics, University of
Saskatchewan, 1984) and adult education (M.Sc. Continuing and Vocational
Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1986). Several times she left
land of the living skies--
to see what the skies looked like in other parts of the world. She has
worked as a teacher of English as a Second Language in Japan, elementary school
in Fort Chipeywan in northern Alberta and at the International School of
Islamabad, junior high school in Falher, Alberta,
Biggar, Saskatchewan, and Montreal, and as a sessional lecturer in the
Educational Foundations Department at the University of Saskatchewan.
Elma is keenly interested in real life-long learning and
teaching. She has developed numerous resources and thematic materials for use in
the classroom. At the International School of Islamabad, where she taught
1993-99, she designed and coordinated a school-wide theme on moving, with a
focus on displaced people, and the unit was subsequently awarded the school
category winner of a national citizenship contest sponsored by Weekly Reader,
Connecticut, USA. A Muslim since 1988, Elma has sought to design creative
teaching material about Islam. She has written and illustrated stories about the
prophets in the Qur’an for her own children, and they have been published as Stories
of the Prophets (Oxford University Press, Karachi: 1999). Other publications
include The World of Islam – an activity book for children who think (Suhail
Academy, Lahore: 2000) and Education, Islam and the Challenge to Contemporary
Muslim Societies (Islamic Thought and Scientific Creativity, vol.4, no.2,
Elma Harder and her family now live under the wide blue Alberta sky.
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