Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes of secondary school students on renewable feedstocks/biomass: the case of Greece
Green Chemistry is a new approach of chemistry that aims to satisfy the global concerns and demand for sustainability. Green Chemistry is guided by twelve very specific principles of chemical practice. Among them, the seventh one promotes the use of renewable raw materials and feedstock, such as biomass. The widespread application of Green Chemistry principles in everyday life can be achieved by incorporating its paradigm into simple experiments and activities at regular school courses. Thus, an exploration of the students’ background is required. The aim of this study is to provide baseline data on Greek student’s knowledge, beliefs and attitudes related to the seventh Green Chemistry principle namely the use of renewable feedstocks, in order to facilitate introduction of appropriate provision in the school curricula and practice in Greece. Our results indicate that there is a serious knowledge gap among secondary school students regarding the main biomass formation mechanism and the connection of biomass to the global food supply in addition to the almost complete lack of knowledge of the main Green Chemistry principles. Regarding their attitudes, students are positive towards the use of biomass and express a very strong will to be environmentally informed. A logical conclusion of our research is that the development of relevant material that will focus on the application of Green Chemistry principles in everyday life in combination with a training of a core group of educators could be considered as the first steps towards the introduction of Green Chemistry principles in the secondary education system of Greece.
KeywordsSustainability Biomass Renewable resources Green Chemistry Education
- Anastas, P., & Warner, C. J. (1998). Green chemistry: Theory and practice. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Bartholomew, D. J., Steele, F., Moustaki, I., & Galbraith, I. J. (2002). The analysis and interpretation of multivariate data for social sciences. Boca Raton FL: Chapman & Hall/CRC.Google Scholar
- Horizon 2020 Initiative. (2011). Measuring our water and carbon footprint: 20-21 June 2011, Athens, Greece, http://h2020.net/en/pollution-reduction-investments/the-project-mehsip-ppif.html. Accessed 15 February 2012.
- Liarakou, G., Athanassiadis, I., & Gavrilakis, C. (2011). What Greek secondary school students believe about climate change? International Journal of Environmental & Science Education, 6, 79–98.Google Scholar
- Naik, S. N., Goud V. V., Rout P. K., & Dalay, A. K. (2010). Production of first and second generation biofuels: A comprehensive review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 14, 578–597.Google Scholar
- Papadopoulos, D. (2005) Development, implementation and evaluation of environmental educational programme on waste management, PhD thesis, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, http://phdtheses.ekt.gr/eadd/handle/10442/15206 (in Greek). Accessed 15 February 2012.
- Payne, P. (2005). Families, homes and environmental education. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 21, 81–95.Google Scholar
- Scoullos, M. (1998). Environment and Society: Education and Public Awareness for Sustainability. Proceedings of the Thessaloniki International Conference organised by UNESCO and the Government of Greece (8-12 Dec 1997).Google Scholar
- Scoullos, M. (2007). Evolution and principles of the Education for Sustainable Development, Thalo, Vol I, “Education and Sustainability”, July 2007 (In Greek).Google Scholar
- Scoullos, M., & Malotidi, V. (2004). Handbook on methods used in environmental education and education for sustainable development. Athens: MIO-ECSDE.Google Scholar
- Trikaliti, A. (1995). Investigation of knowledge, social and psychological parameters related to Environmental Education. Ph.D. Thesis, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (in Greek).Google Scholar
- UNECE, (2005). High-level meeting of Environment and Education Ministries, Vilnius, 17–18 March 2005.Google Scholar
- UNGA, (2002). Resolution 57/254, United Nations General Assembly, Dec 2002, adopting the UN Decade on ESD (2005-2014).Google Scholar
- WCED. (1987). Our common future. UN World Commission on Environment and Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar