…as a teacher (as well as an RN), it makes my day to be teaching with the models now. I know my students are really learning anatomy by building in clay both in my live classes and my distance learning interactive television classes. I cannot imagine learning anatomy and physiology without the models!

Valerie Heuchert, RN, Health Careers Instructor, North Valley Career and Technical Center, Grafton, ND

Featured Educator: Michelle Howard

Posted by: ANATOMY IN CLAY® Learning System | Posted on: August 2nd, 2013 | 0 Comments

From Practitioner to Educator and Back Again

Michelle Howard instructing a young anatomy student at a recent workshop at the Formative Haptics Center in Denver

Michelle Howard’s relationship with the ANATOMY IN CLAY® Learning System began long ago. After having practiced massage therapy for 10 years, she became a teaching assistant at the Boulder College of Massage Therapy (BCMT), where she had received her training. While there, Dr. Kenneth Morgareidge, head of the Human Science Department and teacher for thirty years, introduced her to the clay- building method.

Howard began teaching with the system under Morgareidge’s tutelage and within a short time became a clay-building expert. She so loved the system and believed in its efficacy that she dedicated herself to teaching and directing the clay-building program at BCMT for the next 10 years.

Michelle’s experience with the ANATOMY IN CLAY® Learning System, she says, “enabled me to see the muscles, plus the origins and insertions, in my mind’s eye.” She asserts that the primary reason the methodology is so successful is that it engages all of one’s senses throughout the learning process.

In a similar vein, Michelle reflects that when students come to visit post- graduation, they reminisce about the clay-building class as having been one of the most challenging in the program, yet they believe themselves to possess more anatomical knowledge than their peers who learned anatomy in other ways.

The kinesthetic learning that Michelle has embodied through the clay-building also assists her in her massage therapy practice. She explains, “I’ve developed a sensitivity in my hands…I know just where they need to be. This expanded awareness gives me a sense of scale and I more fully understand how the whole body works together – from the neck to the feet.”

Further expanding the potential of the learning system, Michelle uses the MANIKEN® model that sits in her office to educate her clients about the body areas she is working on, pointing out how the muscles relate to one another. “Visually understanding their own injury really helps people in their recovery process.”

Coming this fall, Michelle will be teaching Posture and Power: The Muscles of the Core at the Formative Haptics Center in Denver on Saturday 21 September. This class focuses on core support, mostly for the spine, legs and pelvis – the key muscles that work synergistically to stabilize the torso. Class is open to the public.

Saturday, September 21, 2013, 9-5 pm:  Posture and Power:  The Muscles of The Core (6 hours)

Instructor:  Michelle Howard, RMT, Instructor

Taught by a Master Instructor of the Anatomy In Clay® Learning System, this class will help you understand and start to feel your core muscles – including those that are essential in posture.  Athletes, desk jockeys and new moms are among those that would benefit greatly from learning about these often forgotten muscles.

Cost: $180

For more information and to register visit

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