What Does the Future of Massage Therapy Education Hold?

The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE) holds their second annual conference on August 18 – 20 in Charleston, South Carolina, to discuss the theme Bringing Teaching to the Next Level. This event brings the best of the best to work toward creating a standard of excellence in massage therapy education.

 

Teachers don’t get to handpick their students, and they often have participants that challenge them – sometimes in a good way... sometimes not so much. The more trained an instructor is, the more equipped they are to deal with students who test the limits. In the massage therapy field, many instructors are therapists who began teaching because they love massage. Many of which have had no formal training in instructional design, student assessment, or classroom preparation. Regardless of the scenario (introductory massage program, continuing education, or advanced degree program), the love of massage is a definite must, but is it enough? And, if not, what is?

 

These are a few of the questions The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education is dedicated to answering at the conference this month. You may ask, “Who is the AFMTE?” The short answer is that “they” are “us”! The AFMTE is comprised of schools, teachers, and continuing education providers working together as a group to help shape the future of massage therapy education.

 

One of the goals of the AFMTE is The National Teacher Education Standard Project, which aims “to strengthen and improve the quality of massage therapy education through teacher development.” The first phase of this initiative, Core Competencies, will be discussed in Charleston. Determining the foundational knowledge, skills, and attitudes massage instructors need to succeed is certainly no small feat. Still, it is a much-needed addition to the conversation of massage education. BIOTONE is once again living true to our slogan "Committed to Research, Education & You" as one of this year's sponsors for The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education conference. I am proud to represent BIOTONE at the conference where Whitney Lowe will be presenting a 2-hour workshop titled “Instructional Design for Inspired Learners.”

 

What do you think about the AFMTE’s goals? Do you feel your massage instructors demonstrated the foundational knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to be successful teachers?