I’ve been teaching massage for over two decades and have been doing online education since 1999. Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time learning about technology in the classroom and looking at the effective of models of education that would work for massage, in particular those using a blended curriculum – part online, part in-class.
As I’ve been researching requirements for massage schools in the USA, I’ve discovered that very few States allow any online component. Even where online education is not expressly prohibited, regulators I’ve talked to say they never approve programs with web-based elements. What’s up with that? Do we live in the dark ages?
I know that education hasn’t really changed for the past 500 years, so it shouldn’t surprise me that schools are so backwards in adopting new models, but it does.
Look at the numbers:
- Attrition rate for students is 13%
- Less than 2/3’s of graduating students pass their State certification exam
That means 44% of students going into massage training, never make it out the other side. And out of the ones that make it as therapists, over 50% have to work significant hours outside the profession (20+ hours) to make ends meet.
Does it occur to anyone that something is wrong?
It does to some people and I applaud the efforts of the current industry leaders at the most recent Leadership Summit. They are working to establish baseline criteria for education in this profession as a first step forward. It’s the most basic thing we could possibly do to start to turn things around. It’s about time the issue was tackled using a reasoned and researched-based methodology instead of people’s opinions or ideologies.
The idea is not revolutionary, but it’s vitally important. The profession has been building on a foundation of sand for far too long and we need a solid foundation if we are ever to move forward.
For my part, I’ll be exploring the use of technology in massage education in more depth. Instead of looking simply at doing old things in new ways, I will try to push some boundaries and do new things in new ways. We need a little shakeup. So be on the lookout for some interesting experiments in massage education over the next year.
I’ll be exploring issues in education more frequently in this blog. If it’s something that interests you, subscribe to the blog or subscribe to me on Facebook.