The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE) has completed phase one of the Teacher Education Standards Project (TESP). The Teacher Standards Committee of the Alliance, working under the guidance of the AFMTE Board of Directors, has been developing and refining the Core Competencies for Massage Therapy Teachers since July 1, 2010. Attendees at the AFMTE’s 2011 and 2012 conferences assisted the committee’s efforts through organized feedback sessions that helped refine the competencies and the document.

The members of the Teacher Standards Committee are: Rebecca Blessing (chair), Cherie Sohnen-Moe, Sandy Fritz, Debra Curties, Gloria Lawrence, Mable Sharp, Holly Foster, Sandy Grover Mason, Dawn Saunders, Lucas R. Zarlengo, and Stan Dawson (board liaison).

Results from a 2010 national survey by theAFMTE 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.

“We have invited the major stakeholder organizations to review and ultimately to endorse these standards,” noted a press release from the AFMTE. “Now we ask massage educators and massage therapists to advance our profession by embracing these standards. We also urge school owners to voluntarily adopt and apply these standards by requiring their teachers to receive training that enables their teachers to demonstrate the ability to meet the level one standards at a minimum.”

The AFMTE is continuing the Teacher Education Standards Project by compiling a list of teacher education resources that teachers and administrators can immediately utilize to help them meet these standards. The Alliance will also develop its own teacher training program to prepare teachers to meet these standards.

“We know this entire process will take several years,” noted the press relese. “We have taken the first step. Now, we invite the profession to respond. Please read the Core Competencies Document and take the survey.”