27th June 2019 | Blog

27 June 2019

Earle Abrahamson, CNHC registered Massage Therapist and Massage Therapy PSB member, writes about Gaining international recognition for Massage Therapy...

I have been an active member of The International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSoTL) for the past 11 years, using my scholarship to orchestrate change and improve practice. I firmly believe in transforming practices as simply opposed to doing things better – I am passionate about improving practices. 

The International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSoTL) represents higher education academics who are passionate about researching their teaching practices. Last year they introduced a fellowship scheme to recognise academics who have had a sustained contribution to teaching excellence. Candidates were asked to produce a dossier outlining ways in which they have empowered communities, developed programs dedicated to mentorship and shown sustained engagement and leadership.

The application process was arduous, but it was fantastic to receive positive feedback and recognition. The competition was fierce and demanding, but I wanted to put myself out there to test the international waters. I felt this recognition would complement my work with respect to curriculum development and quality.

Nine academics from around the world won these prestigious fellowships which enables them to mentor, support and champion teaching and learning excellence. I was extremely honoured and pleased to learn that I was named as one of the recipients. Over the duration of the fellowship, myself and the eight other academics from around the world will be expected to build communities in the pursuit of knowledge and sharing.

My involvement with ISSoTL has enabled me to have meaningful conversations with the other members of the CNHC Massage Therapy Profession Specific Board (PSB) in reviewing the core curriculum and considering training standards.  I also serve as Chair of the Massage Training Institute (MTI) and Vice Chair of the General Council for Massage Therapies (GCMT).

I recognise the value of international collaboration and the importance of working with networks of colleagues to share best practice. As the field of complementary therapy moves into a more evidence-based focus, it becomes increasingly apparent that scholarship research and practice needs to connect across professional practice. This will promote a more professional alignment of complementary therapies with traditional medical practices, and I look forward to being part of this development.