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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Latest books on Eco-Justice by Author C. A. Bowers

Editor: Readers will remember the article by Chet Bowers that was published in our winter 2009 issue of the Journal of Educational Controversy. Titled, “Rethinking Social Justice Issues within an Eco-Justice Conceptual and Moral Framework,” the article provoked one of our most interesting exchanges in our Rejoinder section. Chet has provided a description of his latest two books below.

The Way Forward: Educational Reforms that Focus on the Cultural Commons and the Linguistic Roots of the Ecological/Cultural Crises


In the Grip of the Past: Educational Reforms that Address What should Be Changed and What Should be Conserved

NEW BOOKS BY C.A. BOWERS

The Way Forward: Educational Reforms that Focus on the Cultural Commons and the Linguistic Roots of the Ecological/Cultural Crises
By C. A. Bowers

This latest book by Chet Bowers, The Way Forward: Educational Reforms that Focus on the Cultural Commons and the Linguistic Roots of the Ecological/Cultural Crises, provides a more in-depth examination of several themes he has introduced before, as well as an introduction to issues that other environmental and educational writers have ignored.
The former includes understanding cultures, including daily cultural practices, as ecologies—and how these micro-ecologies affect the life-sustaining viability of natural ecologies. Also explored in greater depth are how the community-centered cultural commons represent the early stages of a post-industrial future, as well as how public schools, universities, and environmental writers continue to perpetuate the linguistic colonization of the present by the past and the linguistic colonization of other cultures. Special attention is given to how to reframe the meaning of words (metaphors) in ways that are culturally and ecologically informed. The book also provides an in-depth examination of several areas of silence in thinking about current environmental and educational reform issues. These include expanding upon the thinking of Walter Ong and Eric Havelock in ways that clarify how print-based storage and communication (which includes computer-mediated thinking and communication) reinforces abstract thinking that, in turn, undermines the exercise of ecological intelligence essential to being aware of cultural differences in local contexts. The book also provides an examination of highly acclaimed scientists’ vision of future cultural developments that can only be called “scientism,” and which serves the purpose of giving scientific legitimacy to the West’s long-standing agenda of cultural colonization. The final chapter raises the question of what futurist-thinking scientists and progressives recognize as important to conserve in this era of ecological and political uncertainties. This chapter brings into focus the differences between the progressive orthodoxies of the last decades of the 20th century, where both progressive and market liberals shared many of the same deep cultural assumptions that were uninformed about environmental limits, and the challenges of the 21st century where the increasing level of social chaos resulting from systemic economic changes and the further degradation of life-sustaining ecosystems are likely to lead to a further breakdown in the democratic process and to the further centralization of power in the already existing alliance between fundamentalist religious groups, corporations, and the military. In short, this book challenges both environmentalists of all stripes as well as educational reformers to recognize that addressing the environmental crisis cannot be separated from addressing the cultural crises being perpetuated by late 20th century thinking. It also challenges educational reformers to recognize that the needed curricular reforms are easily derived from an understanding of the differences between ecologically sustainable and unsustainable cultural practices.

Contents:

Chapter 1 
Introduction

Chapter 2 
The Challenge Facing Educational Reformers: Making the Transition from Individual to Ecological Intelligence

Chapter 3 
The Political Economy of the Cultural Commons and the Nature of Sustainable Wealth

Chapter 4 
The Hidden Dynamics of Linguistic Colonization in Teaching English as a Second Language

Chapter 5 
Pattern Language: Should Our Vast Spectrum of Expressiveness be Narrowed to Literacy and Numeracy? By Derek Rasmussen

Chapter 6
How Print and Computer-Mediated Learning Undermine Ecological Intelligence

Chapter 7 
Toward an Ecologically Sustainable Vocabulary

Chapter 8 
E. O. Wilson’s Drift into the Rabbit-Hole of Scientism: The Challenge Facing Environmental Educators

Chapter 9 
Silences in the Thinking of Futurist Scientists and Progressives About What Needs to be Conserved in an Era of Political and Ecological Uncertainties

Appendix A
 Principles of Eco-Justice

Appendix B 
Characteristics of the Cultural Commons and the Forces of Enclosure

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In the Grip of the Past: Educational Reforms that Address What should Be Changed and What Should be Conserved

By C. A. Bowers

With natural systems being exploited at an unsustainable rate, with technologies displacing the need for workers and now even professors, with print-based technologies undermining the intergenerational achievements in the areas of civil liberties and the cultural commons, it is now time for educational reformers to question the idea that students must be educated to become change agents.
 The industrial culture, now driven by digital technologies, is transforming cultures on a global scale. And they are being transformed in ways that serve the interests of environmentally destructive and profit-oriented corporations. The essays in this collection highlight reforms that teachers can introduce in classrooms––reforms that will enable students to become aware of the traditions within their own cultures that must be renewed in ways that ensure the prospects of future generations. Students must also be challenged to consider the traditions that need to be changed. The tensions between what needs to be conserved and what needs to be changed are the critical issues that will not be raised by the experts working to create a seamless world of digital communication and thought. For reasons explained in the book’s essays, this is the mindset that is habituated to constant change––a mindset with no sense of what is being lost that are sources of community self-sufficiency and empowerment.

Contents

Chapter 1
Introduction

Chapter 2 
Is Transformative Learning UNESCO’s Colonizing Agenda for Global Educational Reform?

Chapter 3 
Language Issues that Should be the Central Focus in Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies

Chapter 4 
Toward an Ecologically Informed Paradigm for Thinking about Educational Reforms

Chapter 5 
One of the Political Legacies of Print-Dominated Thinking: Ayn Rand’s Justification of the Pursuit of a Life of Selfishness

Chapter 6 
How the Coming Online Revolution in Higher Education will Lead to the Elimination of Faculty

Chapter 7 
Is Using Computers in the Classrooms of Oral/Tradition-Centered Cultures an Affirming Technology or a Trojan Horse?

Chapter 8 
Rethinking Social Justice Issues within an Eco-Justice Conceptual and Moral Framework


Both books available from the Eco-Justice Press

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