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Article

Climate Youth Activism Initiatives: Motivations and Aims, and the Potential to Integrate Climate Activism into ESD and Transformative Learning

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Institute of Secondary Teacher Education, University College of Teacher Education Styria, 8010 Graz, Austria
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Faculty of Education, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, 2318 Hamar, Norway
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Geographisches Institut, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 10099 Berlin, Germany
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Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação, Universidade do Porto, 4099-002 Porto, Portugal
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Instituto de Educação, Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-013 Lisboa, Portugal
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Department of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Karlstad, 651 88 Karlstad, Sweden
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Department of Geography and Regional Science, University of Graz, 8010 Graz, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Adriana Del Borghi, Elvira Cicognani and Maria Fernandes-Jesus
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 11581; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111581
Received: 31 August 2021 / Revised: 27 September 2021 / Accepted: 13 October 2021 / Published: 20 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Climate Activism and Sustainable Civic and Political Engagement)
For about two years, the climate youth activism initiative Fridays for Future has addressed climate emergency, receiving considerable attention because of their consistent protests every week in many different locations worldwide. Based on empirical studies in Austria and Portugal, this paper investigates the motivations of students to participate in the movement and the solutions proposed by young activists to fight against climate emergency. Moreover, we discuss the integration of climate change activism into ESD (education for sustainable development) and transformative learning processes, and how this enables environmental citizenship. The results of the studies reveal that emotions and feelings of solidarity and collective aims are motives to participate in the strikes. The young activists sometimes propose innovative and sometimes radical solutions to climate emergency. Both demonstrations and exhibitions as forms of bottom-up climate activism initiatives contribute to engagement in political dialogue and scientific knowledge transfer. They can be seen as “triggers of change” for transformative learning. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate activism; Fridays for Future; Education for Sustainable Development (ESD); transformative learning; Environmental Citizenship (EC); shift in consciousness climate activism; Fridays for Future; Education for Sustainable Development (ESD); transformative learning; Environmental Citizenship (EC); shift in consciousness
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kowasch, M.; Cruz, J.P.; Reis, P.; Gericke, N.; Kicker, K. Climate Youth Activism Initiatives: Motivations and Aims, and the Potential to Integrate Climate Activism into ESD and Transformative Learning. Sustainability 2021, 13, 11581. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111581

AMA Style

Kowasch M, Cruz JP, Reis P, Gericke N, Kicker K. Climate Youth Activism Initiatives: Motivations and Aims, and the Potential to Integrate Climate Activism into ESD and Transformative Learning. Sustainability. 2021; 13(21):11581. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111581

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kowasch, Matthias, Joana P. Cruz, Pedro Reis, Niklas Gericke, and Katharina Kicker. 2021. "Climate Youth Activism Initiatives: Motivations and Aims, and the Potential to Integrate Climate Activism into ESD and Transformative Learning" Sustainability 13, no. 21: 11581. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111581

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