In 2010, Ara introduced its Sustainability and Outdoor Education programmes. This portfolio of programmes, which is unique in Australasia, resulted from three years of research into how best to meet the needs of students, outdoor education and the broader sector in the coming decades.
Sustainable living is a key driving force behind education in the 21st century, and the programmes on offer at Ara are about equipping graduates to be at the forefront of those who are making a difference. The programmes blend together education for sustainability, practical outdoor experiences, outdoor education, social studies and human geography, and health and wellness.
As the twenty first century unfolds, the need for students to understand their world will only increase. In recent years, outdoor education and sustainability education and have generated practices which can encourage a different way of seeing and engaging with the world. Many of these experiences will involve being actively engaged and responsive to outdoor environments, local places and communities.
Staff at Ara employ holistic teaching and learning approaches that develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills to address change. These approaches increase understanding of the way we enhance a sense of connection to where we live, recreate and learn. This supports the theoretical underpinnings of outdoor education and the engagement of students in addressing sound social, economic and environmentally sensitive ways of living on the planet we depend on.