Understanding the Disconnect Between the Old Patterns of Thinking and the Relational World We Live In

  • C. A. Bowers University of Oregon
Keywords: Education Technology, Computer Mediated Learning, Biosemiotics, Educational Theory


The primary focus of this essay is on the relational and emergent nature of life sustaining processes in both cultural and natural ecologies.  There is a brief reference to how the technologies of print and computer-mediated thinking represent things, ideas, events, and so forth as distinct entities separate from the cultural and natural ecological contexts from which they have been extrapolated.  The main focus is on how the relational nature of existence within cultural and natural ecologies represent information pathways, and on how the continued dominance of the old paradigm limits awareness of what is being communicated through these information pathways. The suggestion is made that the emerging field of biosemiotics should be named eco-semiotics in order to avoid limiting understanding of the relational/information pathways that are heavily influenced by the metaphorical language inherited from the past. This inheritance includes the failure to recognize that words have a history and carry forward the silences and misconceptions of a world that was not understood as relational and emergent.


Author Biography

C. A. Bowers, University of Oregon
C. A. (Chet) Bowers holds a Ph. D. from the University of California in educational studies (with an emphasis on education and social thought), has taught at the University of Oregon and Portland State University, and was granted emeritus status in 1998. He is currently Courtesy Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon.