Does Education Plus Action Lead to Leadership on Climate? Preliminary Results from the ACE Leadership Development Longitudinal Survey Project

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Rebecca K Anderson1, Leah Qusba1, Matt Lappe1 and June A. Flora2, (1)Alliance for Climate Education, Oakland, CA, United States, (2)Stanford University, H-Star, Stanford, CA, United States
Through education and leadership development, Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) is building a generation of confident and capable youth driving climate solutions now throughout their lives. In 2011-12, a random sample of 2,800 high school students across the country was surveyed before and after seeing the ACE Assembly on climate science and solutions. The survey showed that the ACE Assembly resulted in a 27% increase in climate science knowledge scores, with 59% of students increasing their intentions to take action on climate and a doubling of the number of students talking to parents and peers about climate change. Students were also compared to the Global Warming’s Six Americas classification of Americans’ views on climate. Following the ACE Assembly, 60% of students were alarmed or concerned about climate change.

Building off these results, in 2014 ACE began to assess the results of its leadership development program that follows the ACE Assembly. The goal of this survey project is to measure ACE’s long-term impact on students’ college and career pathways, civic engagement and climate action. Preliminary results show that a majority of students in ACE’s leadership development program are alarmed about global warming and are having conversations about global warming. A majority of these students also feel confident in their ability to lead a climate-related campaign in their school and community. These students will continue to be surveyed through 2015.