International Day of Education 2024

Jan 18, 2024

Meet Maddy, Our Learning Design Specialist

On this International Day of Education, we introduce you to a special member of our team, Maddy. Maddy is our Learning Design Specialist, and her life journey and beliefs play a pivotal role in the contributions she makes to our community.

A bit about Maddy

Maddy has had a deep-seated interest in spirituality from a young age. This interest led her to pursue a degree and a Master’s in Theology and Religious Studies. Maddy greatly treasures the visits she made to spiritually significant locations in Sri Lanka, India, and Nepal, experiencing first-hand how people across cultures find the sacred in everyday life.

She resides in Birmingham with her husband, Mike, and their rescue dog, Lucy. Maddy and her family love basking in nature’s beauty by exploring the UK’s forests and beaches. It’s their favourite pastime over the weekends.

Journey to OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation

When asked about what led her to become the Learning Design Specialist at OneSpirit, Maddy shared her journey:

“I completed a Theology and Religious Studies degree and trained as a secondary school RE teacher. I found my passion in teaching students with additional needs. Seeing the ways the mainstream school system was letting these students down led me to specialise in teaching students with a range of additional needs. This was a challenging but incredibly rewarding role.”

“After a research master’s, I felt disillusioned with the school system and started to contemplate what I wanted from a job. That was when I found OneSpirit. The job was everything I loved about education and held a belief that education can change the world. Since joining in 2021, I’ve been learning and growing as the role and I evolved. It changed so much about how I see the world and myself in it. I’m excited about the future!”

Background and personal beliefs influencing her work

Maddy’s unique background and beliefs significantly shape her approach towards learning design at OneSpirit:

“I was lucky to have the freedom to explore faith and spirituality from a young age. This freedom inspired my approach to education. I am passionate about freedom and creativity in exploration. My approach with the content I create is to give people something to explore further.”

Interfaith education: What it means to Maddy

For Maddy, interfaith education is crucial in our increasingly divided world:

“Interfaith education can equip us to engage with others more compassionately and empathetically. It not only teaches us about different faiths’ beliefs and practices but also allows us to see the humanness in everyone.”

Bonus: A peek into Maddy’s favourites!
  • Favourite book: The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf (also loves Be Here Now by Ram Dass)
  • Favourite movie: The Goonies
  • Favourite song: Going to California by Led Zeppelin
  • Favourite band: Death Cab for Cutie
  • Favourite cuisine: Thai food when eating out and experimenting when cooking at home (and brownies for snacks!)
  • Favourite places to visit: Alnmouth in Northumberland and Ynyslas in Wales, typically, any place by the sea!

We believe that every person has a unique story to tell and no one’s story shows it better than Maddy’s. As we celebrate the International Day of Education, let us remember the influences and experiences that make us who we are today. After all, every day is a chance to learn something new!

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