Research Article

The Perceptions of Fifth-Graders Following Ecology Service Learning–The Case of the “Lesser Kestrel Day”

Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2022, 18(4), e2276,
Publication date: Apr 07, 2022
Full Text (PDF)


An instrumental case study examined the experiences and emotions of fifth-graders, aged 10-11, following their service-learning, which was designed to help the Lesser Kestrel, an endangered species in Israel. The case study methodology used three research tools that included analyses of drawings and explanations, personal reflections, and focus groups. The research revealed four processes that students went through: emotional, social, cognitive and behavioral. These processes supported the creation of an educational setting that allowed students to develop as independent learners with responsibilities towards their peers and a high level of empathy while experiencing environmental citizenship. In addition, the successful experience generated a positive feeling together with pro-environmental behavior leading towards biodiversity conservation.


service learning environmental citizenship Lesser Kestrel drawings elementary school pro-environmental behavior


Gal, A. (2022). The Perceptions of Fifth-Graders Following Ecology Service Learning–The Case of the “Lesser Kestrel Day”. Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 18(4), e2276.
Gal, A. (2022). The Perceptions of Fifth-Graders Following Ecology Service Learning–The Case of the “Lesser Kestrel Day”. Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 18(4), e2276.
Gal A. The Perceptions of Fifth-Graders Following Ecology Service Learning–The Case of the “Lesser Kestrel Day”. INTERDISCIP J ENV SCI ED. 2022;18(4):e2276.
Gal A. The Perceptions of Fifth-Graders Following Ecology Service Learning–The Case of the “Lesser Kestrel Day”. INTERDISCIP J ENV SCI ED. 2022;18(4), e2276.
Gal, Adiv. "The Perceptions of Fifth-Graders Following Ecology Service Learning–The Case of the “Lesser Kestrel Day”". Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education 2022 18 no. 4 (2022): e2276.
Gal, Adiv "The Perceptions of Fifth-Graders Following Ecology Service Learning–The Case of the “Lesser Kestrel Day”". Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, vol. 18, no. 4, 2022, e2276.


  1. Adarlo, G. M. (2020). Service-learning as global citizenship education: Acting locally on global challenges and concerns. IAFOR Journal of Education, 8(3), 7-23.
  2. Beery, T., Ingemar Jönsson, K., & Elmberg, J. (2015). From environmental connectedness to sustainable futures: Topophilia and human affiliation with nature. Sustainability, 7(7), 8837-8854.
  3. Bissing-Olson, M. J., Fielding, K. S., & Iyer, A. (2016). Experiences of pride, not guilt, predict pro-environmental behavior when pro-environmental descriptive norms are more positive. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 45, 145-153.
  4. Bobek, O., Gal, A., Saltz, D., & Motro, U. (2018). Effect of nest-site microclimatic conditions on nesting success in the Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni. Bird Study, 65(4), 1-7.
  5. Campbell, J. (1995). Understanding John Dewey. Nature and cooperative intelligence. Open Court.
  6. Cardinale, B., Emmett, D., Gonzalez, A., Hooper, D., Perrings, C., Venail, P., Narwani, A., Mace, G., Tilman, D., Wardle, D., Kinzig, A., Daily, G., Loreau, M., Grace, J., Larigauderie, A., Srivastava, D., & Naeem, S. (2012). Biodiversity loss and its impact on humanity. Nature, 486(7401), 59-67.
  7. Chawla, L. (2020). Childhood nature connection and constructive hope: A review of research on connecting with nature and coping with environmental loss. People and Nature, 2(3), 619-642.
  8. Cho, Y., & Lee, D. (2018). ‘Love honey, hate honey bees’: Reviving biophilia of elementary school students through environmental education program. Environmental Education Research, 24(3), 445-460.
  9. Christie, B., Beames, S., & Higgins, P. (2016). Context, culture and critical thinking: Scottish secondary school teachers’ and pupils’ experiences of outdoor learning. British Educational Research Journal, 42(3), 417-437.
  10. Costa, D. A., Farias, R., Lucena, P. De, Lindsey, M., Piñeiro-corbeira, C., Dolbeth, M., Araújo, D. De, Farias, R., Lucena, P. De, Lindsey, M., & Dolbeth, M. (2021). Improving environmental awareness and ocean literacy through hands-on activities in the tropics. Applied Environmental Education & Communication.
  11. Dahlbeck, J. (2014). Hope and fear in education for sustainable development. Critical Studies in Education, 55(2), 154-169.
  12. De Dominicis, S., Bonaiuto, M., Carrus, G., Passafaro, P., Perucchini, P., & Bonnes, M. (2017). Evaluating the role of protected natural areas for environmental education in Italy. Applied Environmental Education and Communication, 16(3), 171-185.
  13. Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education. Macmillan Company.
  14. Dobson, A. (2007). Environmental citizenship: Towards sustainable development. Sustainable Development, 15, 276-285.
  15. Gal, A., & Gan, D. (2018). What went well? Understanding the culture of a long-term Israeli environmental education primary school program. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 34(3), 262-289.
  16. Gal, A., & Yosef, R. (2018). The contribution of citizen science to the conservation of the Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) in Israel. The Raptor Research Foundation, 52(4), 511-515.
  17. Gal, A., Saltz, D., & Motro, U. (2019). Effect of supplemental feeding on nesting success in the Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni). Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution, 65(3-4), 71-76.
  18. Georgiou, Y., Hadjichambis, A. C., & Hadjichambi, D. (2021). Teachers’ perceptions on environmental citizenship: A systematic review of the literature. Sustainability, 13(5), 1-30.
  19. Gericke, N., Huang, L., Knippels, M.-C., Christodoulou, A., Van Dam, F., & Gasparovic, S. (2020). Environmental citizenship in secondary formal education: The importance of curriculum and subject teachers. In A. Hadjichambis, P. Reis, D. Paraskeva-Hadjichambi, J. Činčera, J. Boeve-de Pauw, N. Gericke, & M. Knippels (Eds.), Conceptualizing environmental citizenship for 21st century education (pp. 193-212). Springer.
  20. Glaab, S., & Heyne, T. (2019). Green classroom vs. classroom–Influence of teaching approaches, learning settings, and state emotions on environmental values of primary school children. Applied Environmental Education and Communication, 18(2), 179-190.
  21. Hadjichambis, A., & Paraskeva-Hadjichambi, D. (2020). Environmental citizenship questionnaire (ECQ): The development and validation of an evaluation instrument for secondary school students. Sustainability, 12(821), 1-12.
  22. Hilbruner, R. (2006). A review of: “Last child in the woods”: Saving our children from nature deficit disorder by Richard Louv. Applied Environmental Education & Communication, 5(4), 283-284.
  23. Hoover, K. S. (2021). Evaluating impacts of a wetland field trip: A case study with urban middle school students. Applied Environmental Education and Communication, 20(3), 203-220.
  24. Huckle, J. (2014). Education for sustainable citizenship: An emerging focus for education for sustainability. In J. Huckle, & S. Sterling (Eds.), Education for sustainability (pp. 228-243). Routledge.
  25. Ives, C. D., Abson, D. J., von Wehrden, H., Dorninger, C., Klaniecki, K., & Fischer, J. (2018). Reconnecting with nature for sustainability. Sustainability Science, 13(5), 1389-1397.
  26. Kerret, D., Orkibi, H., & Ronen, T. (2016). Testing a model linking environmental hope and self-control with students’ positive emotions and environmental behavior. Journal of Environmental Education, 47(4), 307-317.
  27. Kleine, M., Goetz, T., Pekrun, R., & Hall, N. (2005). The structure of students’ emotions experienced during a mathematical achievement test. ZDM–Mathematics Education, 37(3), 221-225.
  28. Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Prentice Hall.
  29. Larson, L., Szczytko, R., Bowers, E., Stephens, L., Stevenson, K., & Floyd, M. (2019). Outdoor time, screen time, and connection to nature: Troubling trends among rural youth? Environment and Behavior, 51(8), 966-991.
  30. Lee, J., Lee, Y., & Kim, M. (2018). Effects of empathy-based learning in elementary social studies. Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 27(6), 509-521.
  31. Linnenbrink-Garcia, L., & Pekrun, R. (2011). Students’ emotions and academic engagement: Introduction to the special issue. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 36(1), 1-3.
  32. Marchant, E., Todd, C., Cooksey, R., Dredge, S., Jones, J., Reynolds, D., Statton, G., Dwyer, R., Lyons, R., & Brophy, S. (2019). Curriculum-based outdoor learning for children aged 9-11: A qualitative analysis of pupils’ and teachers’ views. PLoS ONE, 14(5), e0212242.
  33. Mazouchová, A., & Šorgo, A. (2021). Are children actually losing contact with nature, or is it that their experiences differ from those of 120 years ago? Environment and Behavior, 53(9), 931-952.
  34. McLaughlin, E. (2010). The “real-world” experience: Students perspectives on service learning projects. American International Journal of Business Education, 3(7), 109-117.
  35. Mtawa, N., Fongwa, S., & Wilson-Strydom, M. (2021). Enhancing graduate employability attributes and capabilities formation: A service-learning approach. Teaching in Higher Education, 26(5), 679-695.
  36. Murphy, H., Tubritt, J., & Norman, J. (2018). The role of empathy in preparing teachers to tackle bullying. Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research, 7(1), 17-23.
  37. Nisbet, E. K., Zelenski, J. M., & Murphy, S. A. (2008). With nature to environmental concern and behavior. Environment and Behavior, 27(1), 1-26.
  38. Ojala, M. (2015). Hope in the face of climate change: Associations with environmental engagement and student perceptions of teachers emotion communication style and future orientation. Journal of Environmental Education, 46(3), 133-148.
  39. Oswald, T., Rumbold, A., Kedzior, S., & Moore, V. (2020). Psychological impacts of “screen time” and “green time” for children and adolescents: A systematic scoping review. PLoS One, 15(9), e0237725.
  40. Pekrun, R. (1992). The impact of emotions on learning and achievement: Towards a theory of cognitive/motivational mediators. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 41, 359-376.
  41. Pekrun, R. (2017). Emotion and achievement during adolescence. Child Development Perspectives, 11(3), 215-221.
  42. Pekrun, R., Frenzel, A. C., Goetz, T., & Perry, R. P. (2007). The control-value theory of achievement emotions: An integrative approach to emotions in education. In P. A. Schutz, & R. Pekrun (Eds.), Educational psychology, emotion in education (pp. 13-36). Academic Press.
  43. Pérez-Ordás, R., Nuviala, A., Grao-Cruces, A., & Fernández-Martínez, A. (2021). Implementing service-learning programs in physical education; teacher education as teaching and learning models for all the agents involved: A systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(2), 1-27.
  44. Pihkala, P. (2020). Eco-anxiety and environmental education. Sustainability, 12, 10149.
  45. Reis, G., & Roth, W. M. (2009). A feeling for the environment: Emotion talk in/for the pedagogy of public environmental education. Journal of Environmental Education, 41(2), 71-87.
  46. Resch, K., & Schrittesser, I. (2021). Using the service-learning approach to bridge the gap between theory and practice in teacher education. International Journal of Inclusive Education.
  47. Saldaña, J. (2009). The coding manual for qualitative researchers. SAGE.
  48. Saleme, P., Dietrich, T., Pang, B., & Parkinson, J. (2020). A gamified approach to promoting empathy in children. Journal of Social Marketing, 10(3), 321-337.
  49. Shellman, A. (2014). Empowerment and experiential education: A state of knowledge paper. Journal of Experiential Education, 37(1), 18-30.
  50. Shipley, N. J., & van Riper, C. J. (2022). Pride and guilt predict pro-environmental behavior: A meta-analysis of correlational and experimental evidence. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 79, 101753.
  51. Snell, R., & Lau, K. H. (2020). The development of a service-learning outcomes measurement scale (S-LOMS). Metropolitan Universities, 31(1), 44-77.
  52. Soga, M., & Gaston, K. J. (2016). Extinction of experience: The loss of human-nature interactions. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 14(2), 94-101.
  53. Steptoe, A., Malik, F., Pay, C., Pearson, P., Price, C., & Win, Z. (1995). The impact of stage fright on student actors. British Journal of Psychology, 86(1), 27-39.
  54. Sturm, H., & Bogner, F. X. (2010). Learning at workstations in two different environments: A museum and a classroom. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 36, 14-19.
  55. Walimbe, S., & Chitgopkar, S. (2018). Nurturing children’s biophilia through nature connectedness in school buildings for a sustainable future. International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology, 9(3), 187-192.
  56. Wistoft, K. (2013). The desire to learn as a kind of love: Gardening, cooking, and passion in outdoor education. Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 3(2), 125-141.
  57. Yin, R. K. (2006). Case study research–Design and method. SAGE.
  58. Zelenski, J., & Desrochers, J. (2021). Can positive and self-transcendent emotions promote pro-environmental behavior? Current Opinion in Psychology, 42, 31-35.
  59. Zuzana, T., Van Horn-Gabel, A., & Marniković, S. (2020). Examining the value of a TESOL service-learning study abroad for U.S. pre- and in-service teachers and Montenegrin community stakeholders. The Electronic Journal for English as a Second Language, 23(4), 1-13.


Creative Commons License
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.