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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.
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%)
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. "Topic 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
> Topic 1: Transitioning
> Topic 2: Goal Setting
> Topic 3: Positive Affirmations
> Topic 4: Time Management & Organization
> Topic 5: Learning Styles
> Topic 6: Memory
> Topic 7: Core Study Skills
> Topic 8: Motivation
> Topic 9: Concentration
> Topic 10: Test Taking and Exams
> Topic 11: Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory
> Topic 12: Professional Conduct and Classroom Dynamics
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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Effective 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.
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”> back to top
This 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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