Eddie Maza currently runs digital outreach and digital research initiatives at the Centre for the Study of the Bible at Oriel College. He completed his MPhil in Hebrew Bible Theology at Oxford, having studied art history and education at Yale. He is deeply interested in the role of material culture in the formation of identity. Focusing in on the intersection of art history and religion, Eddie looks at ancient art and mosaics, putting them on equal footing with textual narrative and textual accounts of biblical tradition.
He has also researched museum education and disabilities studies, thinking about how a museum education program ‘visual thinking strategies’ can be an alternative way of learning - in contrast to the way a classroom often values text.
Eddie Talks about:
The turning point came after seeing a movie called The Big Picture: Re-Thinking Dyslexia, which changed the way Eddie thought about agency in learning, moving from a limited mindset to one where he leaned into creative thinking and taking control of his learning rather than being told how to best learn
Going to a Jewish school and having a hard time with learning hebrew
Getting assessed with dyslexia, the school subsequently saying that he needed to leave.
Assistive technology to start thriving in education and to this day listening to 4-5 books a month on audible
How getting a diagnosis is when things changed for the better, as he was able to take ownership of learning differently and coming up with strategies and steps to address the ‘problem’
“She (Teacher) just said to me you are kidding yourself applying to these schools. [...] When I didn't do well on the first paper she said ‘See, an honours calculus class is no place for someone with dyslexia’ - which made it very real and personal. Once I did get into Yale and I told her she said ‘well we will see what happens when you get there’ so it was this real intense animosity where she didn't see me being qualified to participate. So that was really difficult - but quite outweighed by the level of support I had from other people.”
“When I took the SATS someone said ‘Of course you did well you had extra time you are basically cheating.’ Once I got to Oxford I was told by a lot of people ‘don’t tell anyone you have extra time keep that to yourself’, but why? I think the way accommodations are thought about is often framed as a concession as opposed to a recognition that a system was developed that wasn’t meant to include everyone in an active way. [...] So its not cheating, it's not something to be embarrassed about - it’s not conforming to the mould of what an institution was built around. Which in my mind is really cool, but at the very least it shouldn't be something you are ashamed about. [...] It (extra-time) is really a band aid on a broken system that our education system wasn’t designed to include everyone that gets educated.