The contribution of the Lesser Kestrel to environmental literacy
Since 1996, fifth-grade students from the Alona School in the north of Israel have been leading “The Lesser-Kestrel” environmental education program designed to promote environmental literacy as well as the conservation of this endangered raptor. Therefore, the goal of this study was to examine the environmental literacy of fifth-grade pupils after one, two and three years. The study was based on quantitative questionnaires from 147 pupils completed during and after the program and also interviews with 6 of those pupils who had completed the program in the past. Pupils filled out the questionnaire at four different points of time throughout their educational program: prior to their studies in the environmental program, at the end of their studies in the program, about four months following their studies in the program and about one year after the completing of their studies. New research tools was used to evaluate the results included the Roth's level of environmental literacy combined with Simmons' components. The findings indicate that even three years after graduating, the pupils achieved a functional level of environmental literacy in all three components of these. In conclusion, it seems appropriate to promote long-term environmental educational programs that help retain environmental literacy for at least three years.
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