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Massage Today
June 12, 2012

AFMTE Conference Focuses on Teacher Standards

By Kathryn Feather, Senior Associate Editor

At its third annual conference, the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE) focused on "creating an atmosphere of collaboration, respect and mutual support." During its meetings in Tucson June 7th through the 9th, the AFMTE decided its priority going forward would be to establish standards for massage school teachers through its National Teacher Education Standards Project (TESP).

The Board issued this statement at the conclusion of the conference: "The Board feels this meeting was an incredible success. It brought together a distinguished group of the field's leading educators, more than 24 nationally published authors and educators from schools across the nation. Keynote speaker Benny Vaughn's inspirational opening reminded us that a profession is judged by how it educates its members. The group produced an overwhelming consensus that teacher standards are needed in the profession. Great work was done producing the TESP, which will establish standards for massage school teachers. Also, workshops provided participants with training in educational research, communication skills, social media and busting myths."

According to the Alliance, the reason behind establishing the TESP is as follows: "While educational and testing requirements are commonplace for the licensure of massage therapists, there are few jurisdictions that currently require instructors of massage therapy to have specific training in the knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSAs) of teaching. As a result, the majority of teachers in this field have not been trained to teach. Knowing how to give a competent massage requires a different skill set than what is needed to teach massage therapy and related subjects." For additional information about the TESP, visit the Alliance website at www.afmte.org/teacher-standards/.

The Alliance also re-elected several new board members including Heather Piper, Stephanie Beck, Cherie Sohnen-Moe, Su Bibik, Iris Burman and Pete Whitridge to the Board of Directors and Tim Herbert, Tracy Walton, Joe Lubow, Susan Beck and Debra Curties to the Leadership Development Committee. The Alliance also raised $800 for the Massage Therapy Foundation through a chair massage fund raiser. Breakout sessions included "Busting Myths and Teaching Critical Thinking Skills," taught by Massage Today columnist Tracy Walton; "Educational Research: What Is It, What We Can Learn From Other Organizations" taught by Martha Brown Menard; "How to Use Social Media as a Lead Generating Marketing Tool and Not a Waste of Time" taught by Massage Today contributor Stephanie Beck; "How to Create Connections to Get Into the Community" by Susan Beam; "Ethics Panel: Ethical Issues in the Classroom" with Nancy Dail, Cherie Sohnen-Moe, Terri Yardley-Nohr and Pat Benjamin; and "Advanced SAVI: How to Translate This Into the Classroom" by Massage Today columnist Ben Benjamin.

John Weeks delivered the keynote presentation: "ACCAHC and Collaboration in our National heath Care System." Weeks discussed a health care system that "will deliver effective care that is patient (client) centered, focused on health creation and healing and readily accessible to all populations," with massage therapy having a seat at the table.

Other massage organizations attending the Alliance conference included representatives from the Massage Therapy Foundation, the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation, the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, the American Massage Therapy Association and the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care.

According to the statement issued by the Board, "overall, the Board was thrilled with the outcome of the conference. According to participant's evaluations, it was a 5-star event." For more information about this conference, the TESP or how to become an Alliance member, visit www.afmte.org.

 

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