Thick Description as Pedagogical Tool: Considering Bowers’ Inspiration for Our Work

Jonathan T. Bell, Mark T. Kissling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This article begins with deep appreciation of Chet Bowers’ powerful charge to take up thick description as a pedagogical tool, while also acknowledging the unpleasant manner in which he offered this charge in response to Gruenewald’s notion of a critical pedagogy of place. The article, then, prompted by Bowers’ charge, is a story and analysis of our ‘rush of descriptions’ about a controversial issue in the community where we reside. To better understand how thick description might contribute to EcoJustice pedagogy we present excerpts of our rush of descriptions and analyze them using Bowers’ 5 themes of language, commodification, tradition, science, and technology. In doing so, we found that our in-depth examination does, indeed, make apparent these themes, suggesting thick description could be a promising component of EcoJustice pedagogy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-547
Number of pages17
JournalEducational Studies - AESA
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 3 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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