Mike Nicholson has over seventeen years experience in education as an English teacher and middle leader. Having worked in schools from every Ofsted category he has a wide range of experience across the educational spectrum and early in his career began to develop a reputation for his ability to have an impact on boys and young men deemed ‘difficult’ and ‘challenging’. Recognition of his work with this group led to a nomination for a Pearson National Teaching Award. In 2009 Mike took a sabbatical year to manage an education program called The English Language Improvement Centre in a rural area of Ethiopia, Africa. Whilst the conditions during this time were very challenging it provided Mike with a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience and a chance to change lives by developing the literacy skills of many who had previously been unable or denied the chance to learn.

Over the years Mike became increasingly interested in how our male pupils’ understanding of masculinity played such a pivotal role in their attitudes and behaviours. Researching, developing and piloting an early version of the Progressive Masculinity Program allowed him to see how so many of our young men put on a performance and a mask of what they think it means to be ‘a man’ gleaned from films, games, social media etc. The refined version of the Progressive Masculinity Program is Mike’s effort to give our young men the freedom and confidence to remove this mask and, through open dialogue and practical activities, reconstruct a healthier and more open-minded understanding of what it can mean to be ‘a man’.







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