Take a deep dive into your neighbourhood
Exploring Wildness in the City

Go beyond the tour with our Critical Explorations.
Uncover hidden lessons and stories woven within the neighbourhoods and green spaces of your city.

What is a Critical Exploration?

Our critical explorations are framed around a question of interest, generated experientially by a small group while engaging with a neighbourhood or urban greenspace. This is not a tour, rather an unpredictable critical inquiry that challenges students to interact and engage with the spaces around them.  Through walking, talking, and observing place, these micro journeys are designed to inspire student agency, create unpredictable and imperfect moments, and generate surprising outcomes.  

Understanding Ourselves

Understanding Ourselves

The unfolding of group dynamics through activities that inform who we are and what strengths comprise the group.

Perspective & Curiosity

Perspective & Curiosity

Unstructured wondering and reflection on moments of curiosity. Examining emotions elicited from the use of all senses. Transfer reactions and feelings into a question of interest.

Synergy Through Action

Synergy Through Action

Consideration of how place can help the process of answering the question of interest and harness each group's collective agency and capabilities. Reflection on outcomes.

Each Critical Exploration is Designed Around Four Pillars

Worldview & Perspective

Belonging & Place Connection

Critical Inquiry

Group Development & Agency

Where Does A Critical Exploration Take Place?

The critical exploration design can be integrated into different environments to engage a small group in any number of subject areas. Many different locations are possible backdrops for our critical explorations. We have included a couple of samples below. We can bring the critical exploration model to a location near you.

Achieve Social, Community, & Experiential Goals With A Critical Exploration

Explore Our Critical Explorations

Or Let Us Develop A Custom Program For Your Students

Urban Wilderness Exploration

Explore the beauty and complexity of urban green spaces and ravines from a humanities, environmental or wellbeing lens.

Deepening Our Lens of "Learning Service"

Explore Kensington Market as a way to deepen understanding of the complexities of service learning.

Custom Critical Exploration Designed For You

We will work with you to bring a customized subject to life. Bridge classroom theory with the community through exploring urban art or water systems.

Our Design in Action

Spotlight Kensington Market

The concept of critical exploration through the lens of experiential education is in some ways similar to allowing students to carry the map and navigate while on a canoe or hiking trip. The guides have a destination in mind, but there are often many ways to get there. These programs are student driven. Instructors refrain from signalling the way forward, however encourage critical thinking and group synergy, allowing students to form their own understanding of their journey.

Proud To Deliver Custom Experiential Opportunities

For Schools and Organizations for Over 20 Years

For Inquires Into City Programs Please Be In Touch.

Integrate Critical Explorations Into An ALIVE Multi-day Program Sequences

Critical Explorations are designed as 1 or 2-day experiences. Mix and match this program with on-campus program days to build a customized and engaging hybrid program schedule for your students. 

Looking For More Experiential Program Options

Explore Our Urban Outdoor Education Options

Bring the best of our overnight and camp programs to your campus or urban environment.  Achieve your community, leadership and beginning of year goals with our Urban Outdoor Education Programs.