“Who are the people that help you learn? What are the tools that help you learn? What are the places that help you learn? What are the interactions that help you learn?”
Dr Brian Annan is the Director of Infinity Learn Limited, an innovative and ground-breaking education consultancy company which specialises in the design and facilitation of new and creative ways to engage children and young adults into learning in the modern world. Together with colleagues, Dr Jean Annan and Mary Wootton, Brian has worked alongside and provided expertise, guidance and support, to many of New Zealand’s communities of learning; including our own Pupuke Kāhui Ako.
Over the course of our discussion, one gains some sense of the passion Brian brings to his work; work which hinges on the improvement of educational opportunities for young people in this country and abroad. Brian’s career experience in education has been rich and varied; he has been a teacher, a principal and an academic, among many other significant roles.
Early in the interview, Brian speaks about his turbulent early years growing up in West Auckland, before donning his cap to Di Moffitt and John Graham, two educators who he feels have had a profound impact on his life. Brian alludes to his ground-breaking and ongoing work in the underprivileged communities of Salinas, California, which included their adoption of Infinity Learning Maps, before referring to the immense insight and renewed focus he acquired during his time as a Fulbright Scholar in the 1990s.
One of Brian’s core messages, to just “get out there and do it”, is a mantra that reflects his positive, practical approach to education and life. It is an attitude which recognises the unlimited potential in people and collaborative networks, and which reframes the many challenges of the contemporary world as opportunities for new learning and growth.
“Don’t sit around in offices discussing things; get out there and make things happen!”