Sustainability Tours

A case for Tours as an Essential Component of Educating for Sustainability


  • Spring Gillard UBC Learning Exchange
  • Rob VanWynsberghe University of British Columbia


embodied learning, sustainability, educational tours, educational planning, pedagogy, systems theory, tour effect


This research paper is based on a broader exploratory case study of a sustainability tour that the authors undertook. The larger study explored “the concept of learning application through the case of a sustainability tour” (Gillard, 2016, p. 226 ). The tour was part of a certificate program for sustainable community development offered to mid-career professionals through a continuing education unit at a large Canadian academic institution. Employing qualitative methods, the authors conducted semi-structured interviews, then analyzed the data, including course documents, to garner participants’ perceptions of what they learned “on tour” as well as how their learning had subsequently been applied. The study also identified salient features of the tour and the ways in which the tour format (or other contextual factors) may have inhibited learning and its subsequent application. This research paper presents some relevant findings, practical implications, and lessons learned regarding the sustainability tour pedagogy.




How to Cite

Gillard, S., & VanWynsberghe , R. (2021). Sustainability Tours: A case for Tours as an Essential Component of Educating for Sustainability. Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, 33(1). Retrieved from