An Intriguing Glimpse of Classrooms Around the World

Bangladesh, Jessore. Year 10, English

British photographer Julian Germain embarked on a photo series in 2004 that would require quite a bit of traveling and patience. The ongoing series, known as Classroom Portraits, began in North East England where Germain entered local schools and took simple group portraits of students in their classes. The project has since expanded across the globe to include schools in Qatar, Peru, Taiwan, Nigeria, The Netherlands, and Brazil, amongst many others.

Unlike a typical class portrait, the photographer kept a natural atmosphere. No one was instructed to sit upright or fold their hands. The only thing that Germain was interested in each of these photos was that every face could be seen. We’re all given a little insight into the educational systems, social structures, and economic divisions within each of these territories. The series enlightens the spectator on the varied environments that children across the world are educated in and the assorted classes that are taught. The series both differentiates people and exemplifies how alike we all are as children attending school.

The series is currently available in Germain’s book titled Classroom Portraits. The project is also currently on display in an exhibition titled The Future is Ours at the Netherlands Fotomuseum through September 2, 2012.


England, Seaham, Reception and Year 1, Structured Play


Taiwan, Ruei Fang Township, Kindergarten, Art


Saudi Arabia, Dammam, Kindergarden, Activities


Wales, Felindre, Reception and Years 1 & 2, Numeracy


England, Keighley, Year 6, History


England, Bradford, Year 7, Art


Holland, Drouwenermond, Primary Year 5, 6, 7 & 8, History


Peru, Cusco, Primary Grade 4, Mathematics


USA, Oklahoma, Avant, Grade 4 & 5 Social Sciences


Argentina, Buenos Aires, Grade 4, Natural Science


Tokyo, Japan, Grade 5, Classical Japanese


Peru, Tiracanchi, Secondary Grade 2, Mathematics


Yemen, Manakha, Primary Year 2, Science Revision


Yemen, Sanaa, Secondary Year 2, English


Brazil, Belo Horizonte, Series 6, Mathematics


Qatar, Grade 10, Religion


Nigeria, Kano, Ooron Dutse, Senior Islamic Secondary Level 2, Social Studies


England, Wolsingham, Year 12, English


The Netherlands, Rotterdam, Secondary Group 3, Motor Mechanics

Julian Germain website
via [Brain Pickings]





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