What Lies Behind Teaching and Learning Green Chemistry to Promote Sustainability Education? A Literature Review

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Oct 27;17(21):7876. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17217876.


In this qualitative study, we aim to identify suitable pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning green chemistry among college students and preservice teachers by examining the teaching methods that have been used to promote green chemistry education (GCE) and how these methods have supported green chemistry learning (GCL). We found 45 articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals since 2000 that specifically described teaching methods for GCE. The content of the articles was analyzed based on the categories of the teaching methods used and the revised version of Bloom's taxonomy. Among the selected articles, collaborative and interdisciplinary learning, and problem-based learning were utilized in 38 and 35 articles, respectively. These were the most frequently used teaching methods, alongside a general combination of multiple teaching methods and teacher presentations. Developing collaborative and interdisciplinary learning skills, techniques for increasing environmental awareness, problem-centered learning skills, and systems thinking skills featuring the teaching methods were seen to promote GCL in 44, 40, 34, and 29 articles, respectively. The results showed that the integration of green chemistry teaching (GCT), e.g., with sustainable education, promoted GCL by fostering environmental consciousness and behavioral change and cognitive processes in a sustainable direction.

Keywords: environmental awareness; green chemistry education; green chemistry teaching methods; interdisciplinary integration; sustainable development; teaching personal and social responsibility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Green Chemistry Technology*
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Students
  • Teaching*