Science writing heuristics embedded in green chemistry: a tool to nurture environmental literacy among pre-university students
Existing studies report on the importance of instilling environmental literacy among students from an early stage of schooling to enable them to adopt more pro-environmental behaviors in the near future. This quasi-experimental study was designed to compare the level of environmental literacy among two groups of students: the experimental group (N = 120) was taught using science writing heuristics embedded in a green chemistry curriculum (SWH-GC) and the comparison group (N = 90) was taught using a green chemistry curriculum. For the purpose of this study an environmental literacy model that consisted of pro-environmental attitudes, beliefs, knowledge and behavior was employed. ANCOVA with the pre-test as the covariate showed statistically significant differences in all four of the constructs that constitute environmental literacy, with the experimental group taught using SWH-GC exhibiting higher mean values. Interview findings with randomly selected students from both groups further reinforced the quantitative findings. Both quantitative and qualitative findings suggest that after the treatment, the experimental group students were keen to read about the environment, believed their actions would bring changes, were more knowledgeable regarding how to keep streams and lakes clean, and were more engaged in recycling activities. The implications are finally discussed.