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Alliance for Massage Therapy Education

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Press Release Date: Monday, 17 September 2012

Alliance Presents National Massage Teacher Standards for Public Review and Comment

(NOTE: This news release replaces the one sent out on September 14.)

The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education has completed the formative work on the Core Competencies for Massage Therapy Teachers, and is pleased to present a final draft of the document to the massage therapy profession for review and comment.

The development of this document represents Phase One of the Alliance's National Teacher Education Standards Project (TESP). This is beginning of a long-term effort to create a culture of teaching excellence in our field. To that end, the competencies in this draft document are presented in a set of ten standards, each of which describe the knowledge, skills and attitudes which form the basis for effective and successful teaching.

Results from a 2010 national survey by the Alliance showed overwhelming support for this massage project. A common consensus was that improving the quality of massage education should lead to an improvement in the quality of massages performed on the public. Ensuring that teachers are not only content experts, but also trained educators is the main goal of the teacher standards in the Core Competencies.

Over the past two years, the Alliance's Teacher Standards Committee has worked diligently to research competences as defined in other realms of education – and to delineate standards that are relevant to the unique nature of massage therapy education. These will apply to teachers across the spectrum from entry-level programs to continuing education and advanced training.

Attendees at the Alliance's 2011 and 2012 Annual Conferences have played an integral role in this process. Through dedicated feedback sessions, massage school directors, teachers, CE providers and representatives of the primary stakeholder organizations in our field provided valuable input on the initial versions of the competencies. We also sent a preliminary draft to our members for comment. This feedback was utilized by the committee in development of the final draft presented here.

Following a public comment period of 60 days, the committee will review all feedback submitted and will make any needed revisions to bring the Core Competencies document to completion.

The Alliance now invites individuals, schools and organizations to review the final draft of the Core Competencies for Massage Therapy Teachers and to provide feedback using this convenient online survey form. The comment period will be open until November 15, 2012.

The members of the Teacher Standards Committee are: Rebecca Blessing (chair), Debra Curties, Stan Dawson (liaison to the Board of Directors), Holly Foster, Sandy Fritz, Sandy Grover Mason, Gloria Lawrence, Mable Sharp, Dawn Saunders, Cherie Sohnen-Moe, and Lucas R. Zarlengo. This group of education professionals has brought a deep well of experience and a diverse range of perspectives to this vitally important process.

The Alliance is also compiling a list of teacher education resources that teachers and administrators can immediately utilize.

Updates on the Teacher Education Standards Project may be found on the Alliance's website.

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