The Men’s Education Project
The overall aim of the Men’s Education Project is to support men in considering, accessing and completing further education.
Our target group is men who are disadvantaged through unemployment, marginalisation, poverty and men’s gender conditioning.
Core Areas of Work
We have identified three essential areas of our work thus far:
- Pre-development work
- Preparing for return to Education
- Ongoing support in Education
The brother programme of the Men’s Education Project is the Men’s Development Project. This project has been working to reverse the negative effects of marginalisation, disadvantage and men’s conditioning. The Men’s Development Network does this work in men’s development groups, regional events and at our annual National Men’s Summer School. The focus of the work is to encourage, support and assist men to connect with our own self worth, our ability to direct our own lives in a decisive and effective way, and to make and keep warm, loving relationships.
Returning to education has many barriers for men. Even when the essential pre-development work has been completed men face challenges about what they are interested in, accessing issues, funding, intelligence, expectations, entitlement and time commitments amongst others. In our experience previous educational experiences also play a huge role in holding back. We promote this work through a structured programme involving knowledge inputs, group discussion and exploration of educational experience.
Once men return into education there is an ongoing need for support and reassurance. We provide this through face to face meetings, phone support and group support meetings, that contradict the concerns that can arise such an “ Am I smart enough?”, “Is my work good enough?”, “ Do they think I am stupid?”. Practical requirements also arise and are dealt with such as applications, modes of presentation, computer skills, and language.
Along with the practicalities of the work, the Men’s Education Project is also working at an awareness building level such as:
- Raising the issue and promoting discussion of the barriers men face.
- Building alliances with women’s organisations.
- Promoting the need for and value of Community & Adult Education.
- Promoting Educational Guidance for Men as the key to education for men themselves, their families, children and communities.