Presentations (Communicative Events)

Flash Survey Global Climate Strike March 25, 2022

Kessler, Erika Lyn; Pizmony-Levy, Oren

In 2018, a resurgence of youth activism burst forth calling governments and societies for climate action. The movement, known as School Strike for Climate and Fridays for the Future (FFF), has been organizing “global strikes for climate” outside of local parliaments and city halls. The contemporary youth climate justice movement is a cogent case to unpack how political participation of youth is shaped by schools. The Center for Sustainable Futures at Teachers College, Columbia University is exploring this issue through a series of flash surveys of young adults (14-24) attending the global strike in New York City. The first survey was conducted on Friday, September 24, 2021 (see report:

The second survey was conducted on Friday, March 25, 2022. Local media outlets reported on hundreds of participations marching from Brooklyn Borough Hall to Manhattan’s Foley Square (to our knowledge there is no other estimate of the crowd). This PowerPoint summarizes results from a flash survey of young participants at the event (n=143). Participants were mostly young high school and college women (59%) who are on average 16.4 years old. More than half (55%) of the participants are People of Color. Almost all participants identify as liberals (92%) with one-third of them (31%) identifying as “extremely liberal”. About two-thirds (64%) participated in school climate strikes before the event. One-in-four participated without their parents’/guardians’ approval.

Majority of the respondents (87%) feel informed about climate change, but only one-third (37%) feel “very informed”. More college students say they are “very informed” than high school students (67% vs. 31% respectively). Participants reported on high self-efficacy when it comes to explaining and describing the causes and consequences of climate change. However, they are less confidence in using new evidence to lead someone to change their understanding about climate change.

Participants came from 30 different schools; the five most common schools are: LaGuardia HS; Beacon High School; Stuyvesant HS; French American School NY; Bard High School Early College Manhattan. Only one-in-five (19%) gave their school a grade A for preparing students for the climate crisis. We found a correlation between the grade given to school (for preparing students for the climate crisis) and overall satisfaction from school. Six-in-ten participants (61%) say there are more than ten educators at their school that are aware of students’ climate concerns. Participants reported learning about the impacts of climate change, but not about possible solutions for mitigation and adaption. Participants reported on having opportunities to engage in climate action at their school. Through the survey, we heard from participants that they are largely anxious, frustrated, fearful, and sad. These negative emotions are also linked to feelings of hopefulness and determination.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
International and Comparative Education
Published Here
October 18, 2022