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Trying to show to students how the media can portray genders from the time they are toddlers.

Toxic masculinity and their effects

location_on Helsinki, Finland
Boys are growing up with a warped idea on how they must behave and act. Once students understand how they are being affected, their behaviour can start changing. In these lessons, it creates a safe spacesfor them to open up and chat. Needs that are important but usually never met.
When my students aren't learning, it's not usually because they can't: it's because they have deep-seated barriers that are holding them back. We can't change their past, but we can teach them to hold safe space, increase their emotional toolbox and help each other.

Ashanti Branch M.Ed.


HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.
Key figures

Innovation Overview

8 - 14
Age Group
Updated on February 1st, 2021
about the innovation

What is Toxic Masculinity and how can we see it

Boys are 30% more likely to drop out of school than girls. Boys are five times more  likely to be classified as hyperactive. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. 

There is a problem with how boys are seeing themselves. With fighting in the school yard and anger issues disrupting their learning, there is also a pain and sadness that cannot been seen under the aggressive shell they have created .

With assistance from Ashanti Branch (The Mask You Live in) a workshop  has been created to assist boys with better understanding themselves and to create a safe space to express themselves.

 The workshop begins with showing students how the media and popular culture have portrayed boys and men. We study children films, superheroes and popular music with use of interactive games, role plays and discussions

The second half of the workshops is, with this understanding, to create a safe environment for them to begin to open up with questions and follow up discussions, activities and ending with the Mask Project that is seen implemented by Ashanti Branch in the documentary 'The Mask You Live In'

Please contact me or leave me any feedback through the comment section as it would be great to hear the responses from the lessons.


Achievements & Awards

May 2019
February 2018
Innovation page created on

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Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Prepare to not be a teacher
First 5 minutes is the most important. This should not feel like a punishment as it won't work. Start thinking on how will you achieve what is needed to be done and how will you act to get the best out of the students.
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Please study these lesson plans before taking the workshop
There are 6 lesson plans here. It would be wise to study them prior to doing the workshop
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Lessons 1-3
The 3 lessons begin quite softly with students recognising how they may have been influenced by popular culture. Students also get to see examples of idols and stars expressing their true feelings through music. Little by little students get the chance of opening up more and more.
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Lesson 3-6
Students begin to reflect on their own behavior and feelings. As the first 3 lessons were about popular culture, these 3 lessons are about themselves. Students share have the chance to share secrets and also to complete the 100 Mask Challenge which is organised by the Ever Forward Club.
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Send me an evaluation
Follow the link to the Google Forms evaluation sheet and please ask the student to complete the form. This is a great way for me to keep improving on the workshop.
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