Teachers’ View on Replacing Traditional Chemistry Experiments with Green Chemistry (GC) Experiments

  • Yvonne Kulandaisamy
  • Mageswary KarpudewanEmail author


Laboratory work is crucial for learning chemistry. What students experience and take away from a laboratory class is a first-hand experience for students. Abstract concepts are made concrete through a good laboratory pedagogical strategy. In this study, secondary school teachers’ views on current chemistry laboratory and how green chemistry experiments could possibly address the challenges and shortcomings of the traditional experiments were explored. Following a series of workshops on green chemistry experiments, 100 secondary schools teachers views were gathered on (1) relevance of green chemistry experiments; (2) feasibility of implementing the experiments; (3) nature of green chemistry; the (4) cognitive; (5) affective and (6) psychomotor domains embraced within the experiments using a five-point Likert-scale questionnaire. The teachers were of the opinion that the experiments were aligned with aims of the current syllabus, the experiments were feasible to be conducted, safe, encourages inquiry and relevant. The teachers also agreed that the experiments enhanced cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of the learners. Additionally, an open-ended inquiry revealed green chemistry experiments are the alternative to the traditional experiments.


Green chemistry experiments Secondary schools Chemistry laboratory learning Teachers’ perceptions 


  1. Anastas, P. T., & Warner, J. C. (1998). Green chemistry: theory and practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Andraos, J., & Dicks, A. P. (2012). Green chemistry teaching in higher education: A review of effective practices. Chemical Education Research and Practice, 13(2), 69–79. Scholar
  3. Braun, B., Charney, R., Clarens, A., Farrugia, J., Kitchens, C., Lisowski, C., … O’Neil, A. (2006). Completing our education. Journal of Chemical Education, 83(8), 1126–1129. Retrieved from
  4. Broman, K., & Parchmann, I. (2014). Students’ application of chemical concepts when solving chemistry problems in different context. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 15, 516–529. Scholar
  5. Cacciatore, K. L., & Sevian, H. (2006). Teaching lab report writing through inquiry: A green chemistry stoichiometry experiment for general chemistry. Journal of Chemical Education, 83(7), 1039–1041. Scholar
  6. Che Ahmad, C. N., Osman, K., & Halim, L. (2013). Physical and psychosocial aspects of the learning environment in the science laboratory and their relationship to teacher satisfaction. Learning Environments Research, 16(3), 367–385. Scholar
  7. Grove, N. P., & Bretz, S. L. (2012). A continuum of learning: From rote memorization to meaningful learning in organic chemistry. Chemical Education Research and Practice, 13(13), 201–208. Scholar
  8. Hjeresen, D. L., Boese, J. M., & Schutt, D. L. (2000). Green chemistry and education. Journal of Chemical Education, 77(12), 1543–1547. Scholar
  9. Hofstein, A. (2004). The laboratory in chemistry education: Thirty years of experience with developments, implementation, and research. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 5(3), 247–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hofstein, A. (2015). Laboratory work, forms of. In R. Gunstone (Ed.), Encyclopedia of science education. (2015th ed., p. 16). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  11. Hofstein, A., & Lunetta, V. N. (1982). The role of the laboratory in science teaching: Neglected aspects of research. Review of Educational Research, 52, 201–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hofstein, A., & Lunetta, V. N. (2004). The laboratory in science education: foundations for the twenty-first century. Science Education, 88(1), 28–54. Scholar
  13. Karpudewan, M., Ismail, Z., & Mohamed, N. (2009). The integration of green chemistry experiments with sustainable development concepts in pre-service teachers’ curriculum: Experiences from Malaysia. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 10(2), 118–135. Scholar
  14. Karpudewan, M., Ismail, Z., & Roth, W.-M. (2012a). Ensuring sustainability of tomorrow through green chemistry integrated with sustainable development concepts (SDCs). Chemical Education Research and Practice, 13(2), 120–127. Scholar
  15. Karpudewan, M., Ismail, Z., & Roth, W.-M. (2012b). Promoting pro-environmental attitudes and reported behaviors of Malaysian pre-service teachers using green chemistry experiments. Environmental Education Research, 18(3), 375–389. Scholar
  16. Karpudewan, M., Ismail, Z., & Roth, W. M. (2012c). The efficacy of a green chemistry laboratory-based pedagogy: Changes in environmental values of Malaysia pre-service teachers. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 10(3), 497–529. Scholar
  17. Karpudewan, M., Roth, W.-M., & Ismail, Z. (2015). The effects of “green chemistry” on secondary school students’ understanding and motivation. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 24(1), 35–43. Scholar
  18. Karpudewan, M., Roth, W. M., & Sinniah, D. (2016). The role of green chemistry activities in fostering secondary school students’ understanding of acid–base concepts and argumentation skills. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 17, 893–901. Scholar
  19. Mandler, D., Mamlok-Naaman, R., Blonder, R., Yayon, M., & Hofstein, A. (2012). High-school chemistry teaching through environmentally oriented curricula. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 13, 80–92. Scholar
  20. Miller, T. (2012). A context based approach using green chemistry/bio-remediation principles to enhance interest and learning of organic chemistry in a high school AP chemistry classroom. Michigan State University.Google Scholar
  21. Prescott, S. (2013). Green goggles: Designing and teaching a general chemistry course to nonmajors using a green chemistry approach. Journal of Chemical Education, 90(4), 423–428. Scholar
  22. Qing, Z., Jing, G., & Yan, W. (2010). Promoting preservice teachers’ critical thinking skills by inquiry-based chemical experiment. Procedia—Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2(2), 4597–4603. Scholar
  23. Roth, W.-M. (1994). Experimenting in a constructivist high school physical laboratory. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 31, 197–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Shamuganathan, S., & Karpudewan, M. (2017). Science writing heuristics embedded in green chemistry: A tool to nurture environmental literacy among pre-university students. Chemical Education Research and Practice, 18, 386–396. Scholar
  25. Sheppard, K. (2006). High school students’ understanding of titrations and related acid-base phenomena. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 7(1), 32–45. Scholar
  26. Taber, K. (2002). Alternative conceptions in chemistry: Prevention, diagnosis and cure?. London: The Royal Chemical Society.Google Scholar
  27. Tan, H. H., & Karpudewan, M. (2017). Green chemistry-based dual situated learning model: An approach that reduces students’ misconceptions on acid and bases. In M. Karpudewan, A. N. M. Zain, & A. L. Chandrasegaran (Eds.), Overcoming students’ misconceptions in science (pp. 133–155). Singapore: Springer.Google Scholar
  28. Tobin, K. (1990). Research on science laboratory activities. In pursuit of better questions and answers to improve learning. School Science and Mathematics, 90, 403–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Tsaparlis, G. (2014). The logical and psychological structure of physical chemistry and its relevance to graduate students’ opinion about the difficulties of the major areas of the subject. Chemical Education Research and Practice, 15(3), 391–401. Scholar
  30. Tumay, H. (2016). Reconsidering learning difficulties and misconceptions in chemistry: Emergence in chemistry and its implications for chemical education. Chemical Education Research and Practice, 17(2), 229–245. Scholar
  31. Zoller, U., & Pushkin, D. (2007). Matching Higher-Order Cognitive Skills (HOCS) promotion goals with problem-based laboratory practice in a freshman organic chemistry course. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 8(2), 153–171. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Educational StudiesUniversiti Sains MalaysiaPenangMalaysia

Personalised recommendations