Resources

Find out about trends in massage curriculum, the Student Success Curriculum, classroom resources like sample lesson plans for teaching ethics or kinesiology, understanding learning objectives, and more.

> Curriculum
     > Guidelines for Giving and Receiving Feedback in Massage Therapy Classrooms as discussed in The Massage Educator
     > The Massage Educator 2009 Issue 3
> Lesson Planning
> Understanding Learning Objectives
> Building Emotional Intelligence in Students
> Building Critical & Creative Thinking Skills in Students
> Classroom Tips


Curriculum

CurriculumIn education, curriculum is defined as a program of study, the individual courses that make up that program, the separate classes that make up the courses, the learning objectives of each class that define key learning outcomes, and the assessment methods the school will use to evaluate a student's ability to meet learning objectives. The term core curriculum usually indicates a program of study made up of courses that are mandatory for all participants to meet educational requirements to receive a specific title or credentials. Continuing education is a program of study undertaken after completion of a core curriculum that leads to advanced understanding and skill.

This section provides information to support basic curriculum design at massage schools and provides a model of a pre-massage student development program created by ABMP to promote student success.

> Overview of Common Topics for a 500-Hour Core Curriculum
> Current Trends in Massage Education
> The Student Success Curriculum
> Textbook Adoption


Overview of Common Topics for a 500-Hours Core Curriculum

While school programs vary in length from 150-2000 hours, 500 hours has emerged as the most prevalent program length as defined by state licensure requirements. The components of a 500-hour program vary depending on the priorities and goals of the schools, or requirements of the board of massage or department of education in the individual state. The topics included here represent common areas for focus in 500-hour programs. It should be understood that the topics are not presented in a particular order and that a school can sequence subjects to meet its philosophy and to best achieve learning objectives. The percentages provided indicate the importance of topics based on the findings of the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) Job Task Analysis of 2007. These percentages also represent the degree of regularity that questions on these topics will appear on the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx).

A detailed outline of the following curriculum is available to ABMP members who have instructor access. If you are a member, log in to the ABMP Members section to access the comprehensive curriculum outline. Not a member? Learn more about ABMP membership with instructor access.

Common Topics

1. Anatomy & Physiology (14%)

2. Kinesiology (11%)

3. Massage History and Development (5%)

4. Pathology, Contraindications, Areas of Caution, Special Populations (13%)

5. Benefits and Effects of Massage (17%)

6. Ethics, Boundaries, Laws and Regulations (13%)

7. Client Assessment and Treatment Planning (17%)

8. Guidelines for Professional Practice (10%)

9. Student Clinic


Trends in Massage Education

A number of trends are emerging as massage programs evolve to meet the needs of today's students, to better prepare students for the challenges of a career in massage, and to improve the quality of practitioners. These trends include:

1. Pre-massage school preparation. Massage schools are recognizing that some students lack the basic skills they need to reach their academic and professional goals. Like colleges across the country, many massage schools are requiring students to take a pre-massage school workshop on study skills, goal setting, time-management, understanding diversity, practicing sensitivity and tolerance for classmates, learning styles, and test-taking skills. Schools offer these topics in stand-alone workshops or as part of orientation. Such programs have been shown at the first year college level to decrease student attrition and improve overall grade point average. View ABMP's Student Success Curriculum for a comprehensive model of a pre-massage school preparation program.

2. Greater emphasis on soft-skills. The ability to relate with clients through written and verbal communication is an important aspect of building meaningful therapeutic relationships. Massage schools find that today's student benefits from activities that build emotional intelligence, interpersonal communication, sensitivity, adaptability, critical thinking, and documentation.

3. Movement toward evidence-based massage. Massage is increasingly accepted by both the public and the health care profession as a viable form of complementary and alternative medicine. Part of this acceptance comes through the recognition of provable measurable effects of massage demonstrated by recent research. Schools are placing greater emphasis on teaching students how to evaluate information pertinent to massage, such as research findings related to specific pathologies and client populations. For more information on building research literacy in students visit www.massagetherapyfoundation.org.

4. Some massage topics are taught online. Increased access to the Internet has prompted a move of some massage program topics (i.e., aspects of ethics, law, and business) into an online learning environment. Online learning offers some key benefits to students, such as the ability to work at a comfortable pace and ease of scheduling. Challenges arise when access to the Internet or self-motivation is low. Most massage professionals agree that the dynamic interaction that takes place in a live classroom is an important element of the learning process. It is likely that online offerings will increase but that hands-on skills will still be taught predominantly in a brick and mortar environment.



The Student Success CurriculumThe Student Success Curriculum

The Student Success Curriculum was developed by ABMP to make it easy for schools to incorporate a preparatory workshop for students. Massage schools are recognizing that some students lack the basic skills they need to reach their academic and professional goals. Like colleges across the country, many massage schools are requiring students to take a pre-massage school workshop on study skills, goal setting, time-management, understanding diversity, practicing sensitivity and tolerance for classmates, learning styles, and test-taking skills. Schools offer these topics in stand-alone workshops or as part of orientation. Such programs have been shown at the first year college level to decrease student attrition and improve overall grade point average.

Following is the outline of ABMP's Student Success Curriculum, available to ABMP members with instructor access. "Unit 7: Core Study Skills" is available for sampling. If you are a member, log in to the ABMP Members section to access this information. Not a member? Learn more about ABMP membership with instructor access.

> Student Success Curriculum Introduction
> Unit 1: Transitioning
> Unit 2: Goal Setting
> Unit 3: Positive Affirmations
> Unit 4: Time Management & Organization
> Unit 5: Learning Styles
> Unit 6: Memory
> Unit 7: Core Study Skills
> Unit 8: Motivation
> Unit 9: Concentration
> Unit 10: Test Taking and Exams
> Unit 11: Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory
> Unit 12: Professional Conduct and Classroom Dynamics


Textbook Adoption

The Good News: The copier in the teachers' room can take a break from massage handouts; massage textbooks have never been better.

The Bad News: Choosing and adopting textbooks can be a time-consuming and expensive process for a school. A textbook choice that doesn't align well with the school curriculum can cause confusion for students. An inaccessible textbook may go completely unused despite its price tag, leading to lower student comprehension and achievement. Furthermore, teachers may dislike the layout and structure of a new textbook and find it difficult to implement. Clearly, finding the right books is important. This section looks at a process for textbook adoption and suggests criteria on which textbooks might be judged side by side.

A textbook adoption model is available to ABMP members with instructor access. If you are a member, log in to the ABMP Members section to access this information. Not a member? Learn more about ABMP membership with instructor access.

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Lesson Planning

Lesson PlanningEffective lesson planning is essential to a quality program. ABMP provides an outline for successful lesson planning.

Lesson planning details are available to ABMP members with instructor access. If you are a member, log in to the ABMP Members section to access this information. Not a member? Learn more about ABMP membership with instructor access.

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Understanding Learning ObjectivesUnderstanding Learning Objectives

> Part One: Bloom's Taxonomy and Its Recent    Revision (the Cognitive Domain)
> Part Two: The Affective Domain
> Part Three: The Psychomotor Domain
> Download an Overview PDF for Writing Good    Learning Objectives
> Download Taxonomies of Learning Objectives

Comprehensive details of the above outline are available to ABMP members with instructor access. If you are a member, log in to the ABMP Members section to access this information. Not a member? Learn more about ABMP membership with instructor access.

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Building Emotional Intelligence Skills in Students

> Part One: What is Emotional Intelligence and How is it Taught?
> Part Two: Emotional Intelligence Building Activities for Your Classroom

Comprehensive details for building emotional intelligence skills in students are available to ABMP members with instructor access. If you are a member, log in to the ABMP Members section to access this information. Not a member? Learn more about ABMP membership with instructor access.



Building Critical & Creative Thinking Skills in Students

Topic 4 of the Instructors on the Front Lines workshop series tackled the topic of building critical and creative thinking skills in students. Workshop participants received an activity packet containing 30 critical thinking activities to incorporate in the classroom. If you’re a member, click here to access this information. Not a member? Learn more about ABMP membership with instructor access.

Click here to view webinar highlights from the Instructors on the Front Lines Topic 4 workshop - "Building Critical and Creative Thinking Skills in Massage Students”

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Classroom Tips

Classroom tipsThis section provides some basic guidance on teaching key topics in a massage curriculum to support massage program instructors in the development of meaningful learning environments.

> Teaching Anatomy and Physiology
> Teaching Kinesiology
> Teaching Ethics
> Teaching Business Classes
> Teaching Massage Theory and Practice
> Teaching Student Clinic

Classroom tips for teaching key topics are available to ABMP members with instructor access. If you are a member, log in to the ABMP Members section to access this information. Not a member? Learn more about ABMP membership with instructor access.

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