How the World Learns – Julian Germain Captures Classrooms From Around the Globe

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Nigera. Photo Credit Julian Germain

If you come around these parts often you know that I have a keen interest in education. The fact is, in order to find success in a creative career or otherwise, learning what’s most important and executing against it is critical. In short, if you want to kick-ass at your job, hobby, passion, life… you need to learn how to learn (see my homie Tim Ferriss’ creativeLIVE course from last week. Tim took us on whirlwind tour of some of the key concepts in his new book The 4-Hour Chef which officially launches and is available TODAY.)

As I watched Tim from the sidelines of our set at creativeLIVE – proud of this free learning channel – and wondering, on one hand how many countries were tuning in to our broadcast (somewhere north of 100)– but on the other hand, how many could not. How many people around the world were in a far different world than us… focused on the physical classroom out of necessity, opportunity, gratitude… I learned in physical classroom, as I’m sure most of you did too. We can all relate to those weird all-in-one desk/chair thing, the smell of chalk, the sound of a bell telling us that class is over — and it is a powerful and shared human experience.

It was in this vein that I recently stumbled across the work of Julian Germain and his Classroom Portraits series. Started in 2004, Classroom Portraits are photographs of physical classrooms full of students from all over the globe. Russia, Nigeria, Cuba, Taiwan — the man has covered some serious ground on this one. [Take a look at some of the classrooms visited in the gallery above.]

Germain’s images are many things, but more than anything for me, they remind me that the global education system is being re-imagined NOW, and will see a complete transformation in our lifetime. What will it look like it another 20 years? These portraits will become even more powerful. #Respect for Julian Germain and this impressive piece of work.

Class dismissed.

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