Research Literacy: Raising the Bar
Posted:Wednesday, September 11, 2019
By Brent Jackson, M.Ed., BS, LMT
Increasing the research literacy of massage therapists is critical to advancing the profession. The ability to evaluate, communicate, and apply research findings into practice elevates the quality of care clients receive and public perception of the efficacy and benefits of therapeutic massage.
Ensuring that massage therapy students graduate school with the ability to independently find, evaluate, interpret, and implement research findings is a multifaceted challenge. The Massage Therapy Foundation has created many resources to assist educators in breaking down the components of research literacy step-by-step to guide their students to a richer understanding of this material. One example of this is MTF’s newest eBook, The Instructor’s Guide to Teaching Research.
Designed to complement instructors’ current methods for teaching research and research literacy to students, the Guide is a playbook of creative strategies and activities used by subject matter experts in the massage therapy profession to teach students:
- how to define research;
- why research is relevant;
- how to locate and access research resources, and
- how to become involved in conducting research.
Each section of the eBook builds upon the information learned in previous sections, providing a walk-through of how to teach students concepts that are fundamental to evidence-informed practice. Assessments at the end of each section assist instructors in evaluating learning transfer and whether specific learning objectives have been met.
Educators from all disciplines are encouraged to use and adapt any content which is applicable to their environment or the needs of an organization. The concepts illustrated in the Guide create a useful template for staying on top of the latest and most credible research information, and foster an understanding of how lifelong learning is critical to a successful practice.
Brent Jackson, M.Ed., BS, LMT, is the Massage Therapy Program Director for Central Carolina Technical College in Sumter, SC. He is a Vice President of MTF and Chairs the Education Committee. Brent has a M.Ed. degree in Instructional Design from WGU and a BS in Workforce Education and Development from SIU. He has received numerous awards for teaching excellence and instructional design.