C.A. Bowers

Writings on Education, Eco-Justice, and Revitalizing the Commons



Chet Bowers wrote his first book on the connections between education, cultural ways of knowing, and the ecological crisis in 1974. The title of the book was Cultural Literacy for Freedom. Since then he has written over 110 articles, with 22 books appearing with various publishers. This phase involved an examination of how language reproduces ways of thinking that were formed before there was an awareness of ecological limits, and the connections between emancipatory/transformative ways of thinking and the globalization of the West’s industrial culture. More recent articles and books that have been put online focus on the educational implications of eco-justice for Third World cultures, the prospects for future generations, and the need to revitalize the world’s diverse cultural commons as sites of resistance to economic globalization and further environmental degradation. These more recent writings have led to a series of recommendations, including the need for universities to establish a department of cultural commons studies and a wider understanding among classroom teachers and university faculty of how to promote ecological intelligence. The latter has required clarifying how the modern vocabulary that reproduces many of the misconceptions and silences of earlier thinkers can be reframed by introducing students to culturally and environmentally informed analogs, and to the colonizing effects of the West’s penchant for print-based abstract thinking. Attention has also been given to explaining how classroom teachers and university professors need to understand their role as mediators in helping students recognize the ecological differences between their cultural commons and consumer-based experiences. Strategies for dealing with various forms of resistance to promoting culturally transforming ecological thinking, including the current misuse of academic freedom, are also discussed.

Email address is chetbowers@earthlink.net

For articles by other writers who are addressing ecojustice/revitalization of the commons issues go to www.ecojusticeeducation.org/

Last updated on January 21, 2017
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