Rethinking Freire: Globalization and the Environmental Crisis, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Rethinking Freire

Globalization and the Environmental Crisis, 1st Edition

Edited by Chet A. Bowers, Frederique Apffel-Marglin


224 pages

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This landmark collection of essays by Third World activists highlights two major world changes which, they argue, have been neglected by Freire and his many followers: the Third World grass-roots cultural resistance to economic globalization, and the ecological crisis.

One source of the activist-authors' criticisms of Freire's pedagogy is rooted in their attempts to combine consciousness raising with literacy programs in such diverse cultural settings as Bolivia, Peru, India, Southern Mexico, and Cambodia, where they discovered that Freire's pedagogy is based on western assumptions that undermine indigenous knowledge systems. Equally important, these authors make the case in various ways that a major limitation with Freire's ideas, and which is reproduced in the writings of his followers, is that he did not recognize the cultural implications of the world's ecological crisis.

Several essays in the collection focus directly on how the cultural assumptions Freire took for granted were also the assumptions that gave conceptual and moral legitimacy to the Industrial Revolution--and continue to be the basis of the thinking behind economic globalization. The essays also explain why cultural diversity is essential to the preservation of biological diversity, and how intergenerational knowledge and patterns of mutual aid within different cultures provide alternatives to a consumer dependent lifestyle.

In his Afterword, C.A. Bowers addresses the need to adopt a more ecological way of thinking--one that recognizes the many ways the individual is nested in the interdependent networks of culture and how diverse cultures are nested in natural systems. It also stresses that one of the tasks of educators is to help students recognize the patterns and relationships of everyday life, and to assess them in terms of their contribution to less consumer dependent relationships and activities. As the essays in this volume affirm, this involves facilitating students' awareness of differences between cultures, the impact of consumerism on ecosystems, and the connections between hyper-consumerism and environmental racism and the colonizing relationship of the South by the North. Re-Thinking Freire: Globalization and the Environmental Crisis is a major contribution to this critical endeavor.


"The whole book offers a timely challenge to any northern educator who assumes that their work is liberating and giving voice to the oppressed anywhere….the book is a breath of fresh air….it should appeal both to the academic and the practitioner reader, with its range of contributions from practical accounts to theoretical speculation."—The Developmental Education Journal

"…this book's various contributions help to enhance Bower's call for a more central relationship to 'intergenerational knowledge and his Afterward presents a cogent summary of the many points raised in his latest books that will be useful for those who want to grasp Bower's Ecojustice platform."—TCRecord

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface. C.A. Bowers, Introduction. G. Esteva, D.L. Stuchul, M.S. Prakash, From a Pedagogy for Liberation to Liberation From Pedagogy. G.R. Vasquez, Nurturance in the Andes. B.L.S. Bejarano, Who Are the Oppressed? G. Terán, Vernacular Education for Cultural Regeneration: An Alternative to Paulo Freire's Vision of Emancipation. Siddhartha, From Conscientization to Interbeing: A Personal Journey. P. Robinson, Whose Oppression Is This? The Cultivation of Compassionate Action in Dissolving the Dualistic Barrier. D. Rasmussen, Cease to Do Evil, Then Learn to Do Good (A Pedagogy for the Oppressor). C.A. Bowers, How the Ideas of Paulo Freire Contribute to the Cultural Roots of the Ecological Crisis. C.A. Bowers, Afterword.

About the Series

Sociocultural, Political, and Historical Studies in Education

This series focuses on studies of public and private institutions, the media, and academic disciplines that contribute to educating--in the broadest sense--students and the general public. The series welcomes volumes with multicultural perspectives, diverse interpretations, and a range of political points of view from conservative to critical. Books accepted for publication in this series will be written for an academic audience and, in some cases, also for use as supplementary readings in graduate and undergraduate courses.

Topics to be addressed in this series include, but are not limited to, sociocultural, political, and historical studies of

Local, state, national, and international educational systems

Elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities

Public institutions of education such as museums, libraries, and foundations

Computer systems and software as instruments of public education

The popular media as forms of public education

Content areas within the academic study of education, such as curriculum and instruction, psychology, and educational technology

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Aims & Objectives
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries