Ward, Kumara

Dr, Senior Fellow HEA


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I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and committed education professional specialising in early childhood and primary curriculum and pedagogy, leadership, and management. My current position is as Senior Lecturer: Teaching and Research in the Master of Education Program at the University of Dundee Scotland where I teach Research Methods and researchers in the Dissertation module. I also have a number of PhD candidates whom I supervise.

My previous role was as Director of Academic Program: Early Childhood at Western Sydney University: School of Education. My key remit was to oversee development, implementation, assessment and reporting of the Master of Education (Birth-5/Birth–12 Years), education components of the Bachelor of Arts (Pathway to Teaching Birth-5/Birth-12 Years), and the development of a new online Bachelor of Education (Birth – 5 Years) course. 

I am a fervent believer in developing education programs that support students to engage in theoretically informed practice, work effectively with children and families in their communities and have the discernment to choose relevant, excellent, and ongoing quality professional development to support them in their careers as they unfold.


I am a Senior Fellow with the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and Senior Lecturer: Teaching and Research in the Master of Education Program at the University of Dundee. My teaching and learning philosophy has critical realist orientation, incorporating sociocultural, critical and post-structuralist theoretical perspectives. From a practical perspective, my experience as an early years and primary teacher, an academic, and in national policy development and implementation, means that I have insight into problems in both practice and policy and can apply these understandings in the development of teaching and learning programs.

The scope of learning experiences in which I engage my students enhances local and global knowledge of the environment, includes social context, which is relevant to students’ life experience, and includes multiple modes of learning. My award winning learning materials for flipped and face to face classrooms (Vice Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning 2016) include ‘Explain Everything’, ‘Voice Thread’, ‘Captivate’, ‘YouTube’ videos, podcasts and self-authored ‘iBooks’. I have created two interactive iBook’s one of which is bilingual, and a professional website. The bilingual iBook won bronze medals in two categories in the 2017 International eLit awards. The website and class iBook are additional resources for students that provide multiple access points for engaging with content, catering to divergent learning dispositions.


My research program concentrates on education for sustainability and the significance of the human/nature connection. Whilst pursuing a number of strands, it investigates ways in which we can support children and young people to live in conscious connection with the natural world so they can think and act innovatively in finding new ways of living sustainably in, and in a state of contented regeneration on, the earth. The strands include: sensing ecologically with young children and the pedagogical implications of this practice for educators in providing ecologically healthy, engaging learning environments; curriculum integration in early childhood/primary education between the arts and sustainability education for exploring and interpreting the natural world; psychological flexibility and outdoor education approaches for youth and young people at risk to support ecopsychological health; and community greening/gardening approaches to support wellbeing for all ages but in particular for those in community housing. 
My research has, individually and collaboratively, been supported by a total of AU$400,000 in grant funding. This information in my profile provide detailed information about my research activity.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy

Award Date: 6 Mar 2019

Doctor of Philosophy, The Living Curriculum: A Natural Wonder, Western Sydney University

Award Date: 29 Nov 2011

Master of Social Science, Enhancing Environmental Awareness Through the Arts, Western Sydney University

Award Date: 24 Apr 2007

Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Education: Primary Education, Edith Cowan University

Award Date: 11 Oct 2004

Bachelor of Teaching, Bachelor of Teaching: Early Childhood, University of New England

Award Date: 11 Oct 2003

Graduate Diploma of Training And Development: Adult Education, Griffith University Queensland

Award Date: 13 Sept 2003

PGCert THE, Graduate Certificate in Publishing and Editing, Griffith University Queensland

Award Date: 25 Apr 2002

External positions

UKRI reviewer

10 Nov 2023 → …

SGSSS UoA Reviewer

1 Nov 2023 → …

External Examiner, University of Edinburgh

1 May 2023 → …

Adjunct Fellow, Western Sydney University

1 Jul 201930 Jun 2021


  • LB2361 Curriculum
  • Sustainability
  • Regenerative Living
  • Arts
  • Creativity
  • Place Based Education


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