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Settle down and focus

When Julian Germain's daughter started school, the British photographer realised that he had not seen the inside of a classroom for 20 years. So he began to take photos, setting his camera up at the end of lessons to capture classroom life. The project expanded, taking him to schools around the world, from Taiwan to Yemen. `No matter where you go, the vast majority of classrooms are oblong, with the teacher facing rows of pupils,' says Mr Germain. `It doesn't matter whether you're in Ethiopia or in Germany. You have that template, but all these thousands of different individuals, looking back at you.'

Moment in time: Escolar Secundaria Tiracanchi,

Tiracanchi, Calca Province, Peru, Secondary Grade 2 (ages 13-14), mathematics (2007).

Caught in time: (Main image) Kuramo Junior College, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria, Junior Secondary Level 1 (ages 12-13), mathematics (2009); Al Tadhamon Boys' School, Malah, Rada', Yemen, Year 1, intermediate (ages 12-13), sport (2007); (bottom) Matsubara Senior High School, Osaka, Japan, Grade 2 (ages 16-17), English (2009).

To see more of these wonderful photographs, taken from Julian Germain's Classroom Portraits, 2004-2012 (Prestel), please visit tesconnect.comclassroomportraits.

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