Classroom Lectures

ARI makes a great effort to ensure that our lectures relate to the ever-changing environments our participants live and work in. In addition to our own training staff, we invite a number of guest lecturers in order to provide as many study topics as possible and to show different viewpoints on issues that are important to the farming community.


In leadership class, ARI participants will identify with and learn about different patterns of leadership and their role in the “Third World,” particularly as they are related to rural community improvement activities. Also the classroom exercises will reveal patterns of leadership that might develop during the course of the leaders’ training activities in the ARI community. This class will also try to reach a basic understanding of spirituality and think about how basic spirituality can be shared outside of ARI. In rural life we are directly connected with the work of God’s creation. As we participate in God’s work to sustain and enrich life, we also learn the discipline of serving others and ourselves in the ARI community and beyond.

Topics covered are:

I. Spirit of Rural Leaders

  • Leadership
  • History, Foundation and Mission of ARI
  • Servant Leadership
  • Leadership of Mr. Shozo Tanaka

II. Techniques of Leadership

  • Participatory Learning and Action
  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Presentation skills
  • Facilitation skills
  • Report Writing
  • Independent Learning
  • Nonviolent Communication
  • Time Management

Development Issues

In this class, we will work together to identify and understand in depth the basic issues our world is facing today. We will focus on major development issues which exist in the world and look at how they are closely related to changes in our communities. Through discussions and reading assignments, participants will sharpen their critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Topics covered are:

  • Contemporary Issues
  • Impact of Globalization
  • Localization
  • Environment and Development
  • Nutrition
  • Gender Issues
  • Peace Issues
  • Micro Credit
  • Human Trafficking in Asia
  • Development and ARI Mission

Sustainable Agriculture

In this class, we will focus on important concepts and strategies of sustainable agriculture which are different from those of conventional agriculture. We will focus especially on the strategies of diversity and self-reliance in agriculture production, maximum utilization of local resources and protection of the natural environment.

Topics covered are:

  • Concept of Sustainable Agriculture
  • Crops and Vegetables
  • Livestock
  • Feed Management
  • Dangers of Chemical Farming
  • Natural Farming in Tropical Areas
  • Permaculture
  • Agroforestry
  • Agricultural Cooperative
  • Alternative Marketing System