• Mageswary KarpudewanEmail author
  • Zurida Ismail
  • Wolff-Michael Roth


Every day, climate change due to greenhouse emissions, pollution and other environmental degradation appears to make the news. Rather than doing something about the environment, namely in the developing countries where populations frequently are less educated about the long-term impact of human actions, they tend to disregard these problems. There is therefore a need particularly in developing countries to increase the potential for understanding and acting in sustainable, environmentally friendly ways. In this paper, we report quantitative and qualitative results of shifts in environmental value orientations among 110 Malaysian pre-service chemistry teachers during their enrolment in a green chemistry course. We find that the pre-service teachers’ environmental value orientations become more ecocentric and less homocentric and egocentric. Ecocentrism and ecocentric values support the development of behaviours that will assist them and the students they teach in leading environmentally sustainable lifestyles. We conclude that our green chemistry course constitutes (a) a suitable context for supporting pre-service teachers in their development of ecocentric values and (b) an effort to educate the pre-service teachers in leading sustainable lifestyles.


chemistry pre-service teachers environmental values green chemistry 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aini, M. S., Fakhru’l-Razi, A., Lau, S. M. & Hashim, A. H. (2002). Practices, attitudes and motives for domestic waste recycling. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology, 9(3), 232–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aini, M. S., Nurizan, Y. & Fakhru’l-Razi, A. (2007). Environmental comprehension and participation of Malaysian secondary school student. Environmental Educational Research, 13(1), 17–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anastas, P. T. & Warner, J. C. (1998). Green chemistry: Theory and practice. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Axelrod, J. L. (1994). Balancing personal needs with environmental preservation: Identifying the values that guide decisions in ecological dilemmas. Journal of Social Issues, 50, 85–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bakhtine, M. [Volochinov, V. N.] (1977). Le marxisme et la philosophie du language: essai d’application de la méthode sociologique en linguistique [Marxism and the philosophy of language: Essay on the application of the sociological method in linguistics]. Paris, France: Les Éditions de Minuit.Google Scholar
  6. Braun, B., Charney, R., Clarens, A., Farrugia, J., Kitchens, C., Lisowski, C., Naistat, D., et al (2006). Completing our education. Journal of Chemical Education, 83, 1126–1129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Butler, R. A. (2009). Destruction of old-growth forest looms over climate talks. Accessed January 5, 2010 at
  8. Cann, M. C. & Connelly, M. E. (2000). Real-world cases in green chemistry. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society.Google Scholar
  9. Creswell, J. W. (2008). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  10. Delay, R. H. (2001). Nothing here to care about: Participant constructions of nature following a 12-day wilderness program. The Journal of Environmental Education, 32(4), 43–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dietz, T., Fitzgerald, A. & Shwom, R. (2005). Environmental values. Annual Review of Environmental Resources, 30, 335–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Doxsee, K. M. & Hutchison, J. E. (2004). Green organic chemistry: Strategies, tools and laboratory experiments (1st ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.Google Scholar
  13. Dunlap, R. E., Grieneeks, J. K. & Rokeach, M. (1983). Human values and pro-environmental behaviour. In W. D. Conn (Ed.), Energy and material resources: Attitudes, values and public policy (pp. 145–168). Boulder, CO: Westview.Google Scholar
  14. Dunlop, R. E., Van Liere, K. D., Mertig, A. G. & Jones, R. E. (2000). Measuring endorsement of the new environmental paradigm: A revised NEP scale. Journal of Social Issues, 56, 425–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. EPA (1990). Green chemistry. Accessed December 30, 2008 at
  16. Esa, N. (2010). Environmental knowledge, attitude and practices of student teachers. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 19(1), 39–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gardner, G. T. & Stern, P. C. (2002). Environmental problems and human behavior (2nd ed.). Boston: Pearson.Google Scholar
  18. Gay, L. R. & Airasian, P. (2000). Educational research: Competencies for analysis and application. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  19. GEMs Database (2005). Green chemistry experiments. Accessed January 15, 2008 at
  20. Gibbs, (2002). A green chemistry alternative for high school inorganic chemistry. Accessed March 15, 2008 at
  21. Groot, M. I. J. & Steg, L. (2008). Value orientation to explain belief related to environmental significant behavior: How to measure egoistic, altruistic and biospheric value orientation. Environment and Behavior, 40, 330–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Haack, J., Hutchison, J. E., Kirchhoff, M. M. & Levy, I. J. (2005). Going green: Lecture assignments and lab experiences for the college curriculum. Journal of Chemical Education, 82, 974–978.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hardoy, J. E. & Satterthwaite, D. (2006). Environmental problems of third world cities: A global issue ignored. Public Administration and Development, 11, 341–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hargrove, E. (1998). Book review: Environmental values in American culture. Ecological Economics, 27, 109–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hart, R. (1997). Children’s participation: The theory and practice of involving young citizens in community development and environmental care. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  26. Heaton, A., Hudgson, S., Overton, T. & Powell, R. (2006). The challenge to develop CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) replacements: A problem based learning case study in green chemistry. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 7, 280–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hopkins, G. W. (2003). Analysis of repeated measure. A tutorial lecture presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine. Accessed November 30, 2009 at
  28. Hunter, M. L. (1996). Fundamentals of conservation biology. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  29. Jones, R. E. (1990). Understanding paper recycling in an institutionally supportive setting: An application of the theory of reasoned action. Journal of Environmental Systems, 19, 307–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Jordan, B. (1989). Cosmopolitical obstetrics: Some insights from the training of traditional midwives. Social Science in Medicine, 28, 925–944.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Katzev, R. D. & Johnson, T. R. (1987). Promoting energy conservation: An analysis of behavioral techniques. Boulder, CO: Westview.Google Scholar
  32. Kelley, L. (1997). Environmental education and sustainable development: Trends in member countries. In Sustainable development: OECD policy approaches for the 21st century (pp. 175–181). Paris, France: OECD.Google Scholar
  33. Kemmelmeier, M., Krol, G. & Kim, Y. H. (2002). Values, economics and proenvironmental attitudes in 22 societies. Cross Cultural Research, 36, 256–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kempton, W., Boster, J. S. & Hartley, J. A. (1995). Environmental values in American culture. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  35. Kirk, R. E. (1982). Experimental design: Procedures for the behavioral sciences. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.Google Scholar
  36. Kollmuss, A. & Agyeman, J. (2002). Mind the gap; why do people act environmentally and what are the barriers to pro-environmental behavior? Environmental Education Research, 8, 239–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mageswary, K., Zurida, I., & Norita, M. (2007. Enhancing environmental value change through green chemistry experiments. Paper presented at the International Seminar on Development of Values in Mathematics and Science Education. University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur.Google Scholar
  38. McKeown, R. & Hopkin, C. (2002). Weaving sustainability into pre-service teacher education. In W. Leal Fihlo (Ed.), Teaching sustainability at universities: Toward greening the curriculum. Frankfurt, Germany: Lange Scientific.Google Scholar
  39. McMillan, E. E., Wright, T. & Beazley, K. (2004). Impact of a university-level environmental studies class on students’ values. Journal of Environmental Education, 35, 19–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. MEA (2005). Millennium ecosystem assessment synthesis report. Accessed September 21, 2009 at
  41. Merchant, C. (1992). Radical ecology: The search for a livable world. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  42. Meyer, A. (2005). Small scale bio diesel production: A laboratory experience for general chemistry and environmental science students. Chemical Educator, 10, 1–3.Google Scholar
  43. Ministry of Education (2004). Development of education. National report of Malaysia. Accessed November 30, 2009 at
  44. Nickerson, R. S. (2003). Psychology and environmental change. London: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  45. Norhasmah, S., Aini, M. S., Laily, P., Sharifah Azizah, H., Nurizan, Y. & Naimah, S. (2004). Environmental attitude and practices. Malaysian Journal of Consumer and Family Economics, 7, 54–65.Google Scholar
  46. Oskamp, S. (2000). Psychological contributions to achieving an ecological sustainable future for humanity. Journal of Social Issues, 56, 373–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Othman, M. N., Ong, F. S. & Lim, M. H. (2004). Environmental attitudes and knowledge of teenage consumers. Malaysian Journal of Consumer and Family Economics, 7, 66–78.Google Scholar
  48. Palmer, J. A. (1993). Development of concern for the environment and formative experiences of educators. Journal of Environmental Education, 24, 26–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Parrish, A. (2007). Toward the greening of our mind: A new special topics course. Journal of Chemical Education, 84, 245–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Posch, P. (1993). Research issues in environmental education. Studies in Science Education, 21, 21–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Powers, L. A. (2004). Teacher preparations for environmental education: Faculty perceptions on inclusion of environmental education in preservice methods course. The Journal of Environmental Education, 35(3), 3–11.Google Scholar
  52. Raston, L. C. & Scott, L. J. (2001). Teaching green chemistry. Third-year-level module and beyond. Pure and Applied Chemistry, 73(8), 1257–1260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rescher, N. (1982). Introduction to value theory. Pittsburgh, PA: Nicolas Rescher.Google Scholar
  54. Rokeach, M. (1973). The nature of human values. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  55. Sagoff, M. (1998). Book review: Environmental values in American culture. Journal of Value Inquiry, 32, 119–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Schultz, P. W. (2000). Empathizing with nature: The effects of perspective taking on concern for environmental issues. Journal of Social Issues, 56, 391–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Schwartz, S. H. (1992). Universals in the content and structure of values: Theory and empirical tests in 20 countries. In M. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (pp. 1–65). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  58. Sobel, D. (1996). Ecophobia. Great Barrington, MA: The Orian Society.Google Scholar
  59. Steel, B. S. (1996). Thinking globally, acting locally? Environmental attitudes, behavior and activism. Journal of Environmental Management, 47, 27–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Stern, P. C. (2000a). Psychology and the science of human–environment interactions. American Psychologist, 55(5), 523–530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Stern, P. C. (2000b). Toward a coherent theory of environmentally significant behavior. Journal of Social Issues, 56(3), 407–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Stern, P., Dietz, T. & Guagnano, G. (1995). The new ecological paradigm in social–psychological context. Environment and Behavior, 27, 723–743.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Stern, P. C., Dietz, T. & Kalof, L. (1993). Value orientations, gender and environmental concern. Environment and Behavior, 25, 322–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. UNESCO (2006). Report on a decade of education for sustainable development. Accessed March 13, 2009 at
  65. Vaske, J. J. & Kobrin, K. C. (2001). Place attachment and environmentally responsible behavior. The Journal of Environmental Education, 32(4), 16–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Veugelers, W. (2000). Different ways of teaching values. Educational Review, 52, 37–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Vlek, C. & Steg, L. (2007). Human behaviour and environmental sustainability: Problems, driving forces and research topics. Journal of Social Issues, 63, 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Warren, D. (2002). Green chemistry: A teaching resource. UK: Royal Society of Chemistry.Google Scholar
  69. Wright, W. (2002). The vitamin C clock reaction. Journal of Chemical Education, 79, 41–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Zelezny, L. C. & Schultz, W. P. (2000). Promoting environmentalism. Journal of Social Issues, 56, 365–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Zeyer, A. & Roth, W.-M. (2009). A mirror of society: A discourse analytic study of 15- to 16-year-old Swiss students’ talk about environment and environmental protection. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 4, 961–998.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© National Science Council, Taiwan 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mageswary Karpudewan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zurida Ismail
    • 1
  • Wolff-Michael Roth
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Educational StudiesUniversiti Sains MalaysiaPenangMalaysia
  2. 2.University of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

Personalised recommendations