International teacher survey on green and sustainable chemistry practical activities

The challenge

Green and sustainable chemistry (GSC) and the circular economy (CE) are increasingly being addressed in secondary school curricula globally. Biopolymers, greener alternatives to household substances, solutions to e-waste and food valorisation make for interesting real-world contexts addressing important global issues that secondary school educators can incorporate into their teaching.

This increasing attention to sustainability topics is taking place in parallel with teachers slowly re-introducing hands-on practical activities to their chemistry classroom practice, after severe disruptions due to COVID-19.

It is of great interest to find out whether GSC and CE-relevant activities are being implemented in their country of origin or in other countries, including in low- and middle-income countries that are not usually included in cross-country comparisons. How teachers strive (successfully or not) to fill the GSC/CE gap in their yearly laboratory program will be interesting to many stakeholders, including scientific unions, professional learning providers and curriculum bodies that support initiatives aimed at integrating the principles of sustainable development in chemistry education.

Project overview

The objective of this project is to improve understanding of the use of practical work in high school chemistry classes, in particular in relation to the integration of concepts of sustainability. This will be achieved by undertaking a multi-country survey of secondary school chemistry teachers on their use of practical activities, with a focus on GSC and CE-focused practical work.

The survey is being conducted online centrally but in the local language, facilitated by a task group member collaborating with and mentoring local chemistry education researchers and chemistry teacher educators from low- and middle-income countries, ensuring global representation. The online, anonymous survey takes approximately 15-20 minutes. In some countries, teachers completing the survey are invited to be interviewed by the local researcher, to collect contemporary examples of GSC and CE-focused practical activities.

Each country has one or more ‘country coordinators’, and as such approximately 60 chemistry education academics/researchers are currently engaged with this project. Some of these coordinators are also students taking part in this project as Masters/PhD research in chemical education. These local emerging academics will also be encouraged to become involved in cross-country academic papers, regional meetings (face-to-face or online), and where possible international conferences.


A full list of countries that have started survey data collection can be seen on the project website ( Sixty-three countries have committed to collecting data for the project and the survey has been translated into 40 languages, not including multiple versions of the survey in English, Spanish, Portuguese and other languages, which are being used in multiple different country contexts.

The country coordinators, working with the IUPAC task group co-chairs, are also being involved in data analysis and research dissemination at national and international levels. This is part of our commitment to use this IUPAC project to support the research agenda of individual chemistry education researchers who might not normally be included in such multi-country studies.

Dissemination will include a project website, regional meetings, research evidence for Masters/PhD research in chemistry education, and symposium presentations at upcoming international science and chemistry education conferences across 2024 and 2025.

Project team

Partner investigators

  • Iztok Devetak (University of Ljubljana)
  • Supawan Tantayanon (Chulalongkorn University)

And survey ‘country coordinators’ from currently 63 countries.

Research Assistants

  • Tharani Dissanayake (project officer) (Deakin University)
  • Lisa Chiavaroli (Deakin University)
  • Ngoc (Lily) Diep Su (Deakin University)


This project is funded by an International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) project grant (undisclosed), and a REDI small-grant scheme ($6000).



More information

IUPAC project page

Elements of Sustainable Chemistry (ESChemistry)


science education, chemistry education, sustainable development, green chemistry, teachers