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]


Pinar Noorata is the Managing Editor at My Modern Met. She is a writer, editor, and content creator based in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her BA in Film and Media Studies from CUNY Hunter College and is an alumni of the Center for Arts Education’s Career Development Program in NYC. She has worked at major TV, film, and publishing companies as well as other independent media businesses. When she isn’t writing, editing, or creating videos herself, Pinar enjoys watching movies, reading, crafting, drawing, and volunteering at her local animal shelter.
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