Sustainable teaching


Vânia Zuin and Liliana Mammino (eds)
Royal Society of Chemistry
2015 | 329pp | £39.99

The book covers a variety of methods for how sustainable chemistry can be embedded into the curriculum. There are plenty of case studies explaining how green chemistry has been incorporated into modules, laboratory experiments and degree programmes. However, I was pleasantly surprised to also find chapters describing how it has been implemented at a national level. While these are certainly interesting, I am not sure how many of the intended readers will be able to influence government policy.Green chemistry continues to develop as an important field in the chemical sciences. This book provides a useful series of case studies from the past 20 years on implementing it at secondary and tertiary levels. Examples are given from almost every continent.

Many of the authors recognise the need for appropriate teaching and assessment methods to match the aims of embedding green chemistry into the curriculum. Therefore, instead of asking students to regurgitate knowledge in an exam, numerous examples involve students applying their understanding in context- and problem-based scenarios. I particularly enjoyed a case study from Germany that required students to consider the political, economic and legal aspects of ‘greening’ a chemical process, as well as the chemistry itself.

If you wish to implement green chemistry education into your curriculum but are unsure how, then this would a good book for you. If you are already know how you wish to ‘green’ your curriculum but would like a variety of examples to choose from (eg ideas for experiments), then you will still find some good examples here, but you may be better searching through the likes of the Journal of Chemical Education.