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Indiana University


K-12 Educators & Students

Sample Photovoice Project Photographs & Captions by Xihe Middle School Students (2005)

Read about this Photovoice project here.

Student 1: Mi Tian 田蜜


The interior of a brick building, a chinese woman is feeding piglets.
Feeding the pigs. Since there are few job opportunities in the countryside, people try to earn some income by raising pigs.

Two brick buildings a woman is outside at a washing tub.
Hand washing clothes. This woman is hand washing clothes in a large tub. Although the economy has improved, living conditions are still not too good in the countryside. People retrieve water from wells and hand wash their clothes.

Elderly man carrying a small child outside next to agriculture fields.
An old man taking care of a child. In our county during the fall, those capable of working engage in hard labor in the fields, while the elderly take care of the children at home. Each plays their part.


Two middle school girls sitting outside next to a brick path reading
Reading in the morning. My classmates enjoy reading here because the air is fresh, and it’s peaceful and beautiful. They usually read here prior to the group reading in the classroom, and so do I.

Three girls gathered around a desk doing schoolwork
One should not feel ashamed to ask questions. These two girls are asking another girl questions. That girl has a high GPA and is very kind. We all consult her when we have academic questions.

The courtyard of a Chinese Middle School, with a garden in the center.
A bird’s-eye view of our campus. The shape in the garden is a map of China.


A Shangluo street after the rain.
Vegetable vendors are going home with their little carts. It looks like they haven’t sold all of their vegetables. Perhaps this is because it rained; no one came out to grocery shop, so these vendors are returning home. I took this picture because the vendors grow the vegetables by themselves and then sell them in the market. They are living off of the vegetables.

Street in Shangluo with government buildings on the left.
This was a road for government officials in ancient China. After renovation, it has a brand-new look and doesn’t have any of its old feel.

Construction site with a large stack of bricks on the left and a gravel pile on the right
Construction material. In the past, people used wood and sand. Now, people are using different materials, namely, bricks, cement, and concrete. Houses made of these materials are beautiful and strong.
Student 2: Qian Chen 陈倩


Participants mother in a blue shirt
This is my mom. In our village there are seldom opportunities to take pictures. I want to take advantage of this opportunity and take a picture of my mom. This is also to show my appreciation to my mom.

Student hanging cloths on a line outside of her home.
This is when I’m washing clothes on a Sunday. I often help my parents with housework back at home. Mom is very busy. I want to help relieve some of my mom’s burden. So I wash clothes myself.

A young girl is outside sitting in a small chair using a larger chair as a desk.  Her father is kneeling next to her.
This picture was taken over the weekend. My dad is helping my little sister with her homework. My dad helps me with my studies as well. This picture shows how seriously my dad works and how much attention he pays to his students. (Note: her dad is a teacher.)


Four girls sitting around a yellow table
In physics class, students are working on experiments with virtual images. They are holding some glass plates in their hands. I like physics the most because it’s so interesting, and we can learn by doing experiments.

Two girls filling a thermos with hot water from an outdoor spigot.
Early in the morning, students are getting hot water from the stokehold. This stokehold was sponsored by the 1990 Institute (Note: The 1990 Institute is a U.S.-based NGO that sponsors the education of 1,000 impoverished girls in Shaanxi province through the Spring Bud Program, launched and implemented by the China Children and Teenagers’ Fund).

Six female teachers at a large green desk grading large stacks of assignments
This is the teacher’s office. Some teachers are grading students’ assignments. Some are preparing for their classes. Some teachers are sharing teaching methods and discussing teaching quality. I took this picture because I want to show how responsible teachers are for their positions.


Man on a ladder haning bunches of corn
This is a picture of hanging corn. There is a lot of corn, so people shell corn, assemble them into bunches, and hang them under the roof to dry. This method prevents corn from going moldy.
Three elderly people rolling a large stone press over red yams.
In this picture, people are grinding yams. (Teacher: There’re quite a lot of yams. Yams can be for medical use after dried and ground, right?) Right.

Chinese doctors office
This is in a small clinic in my home village. The doctor is seeing this little girl. In my home village, we used to have neither clinics nor pharmacy stores. We had to go to towns to see a doctor. Now life is much easier with the opening of this little clinic.
Student 3: Tian Sun 孙甜


Two small boys sitting at a small table in a courtyard.
My younger brother is doing homework. This is someone’s little sister from our neighbor. Although the conditions in villages are not good and the studying environment is actually quite bad, rural children all understand how important it is to study, and they work very hard.

A young girl is washing her hair in a pan of water outside.
Washing hair. Although everybody is very busy during harvest season, all of them still find time to take care of personal hygiene. This shows how everybody loves to be hygienic and beautiful.

A woman holding a piglet administering a vaccine to its neck.
This is a picture of a woman giving a vaccine to a pig. With the development of the economy and scientific technology, people can now even give shots to animals. This is what is said about “raising pigs in a scientific way.”


School girls in a courtyard around a flag pole as the Chinese flag is raised.
This is the ceremony of raising the national flag. We usually hold this ceremony on Mondays. Teachers and students stand in line under the national flag, watching it slowly rise. Through this event, the school sends the message of patriotism: that we should love our homeland and cherish our happy life. We should study hard and give back to our homeland in the future. I was once selected to raise the national flag. (Note: In Chinese schools, being selected to raise the national flag one of these Monday events is viewed as an honor. Usually top students from the classes are selected in turn to serve in these ceremonies.)

Group of students around a teacher.
The physics teacher is helping students with some questions. Students usually bring the puzzles and questions they have during the class to their teachers after class. The teacher is explaining these questions to his students with great patience. This shows how hard students have been working when they seek the truth of the questions.

A man is washing a dish at a large concreat outdoor sink with four basins and spigots.
This picture is about dish washing. I took this picture because every time students walk here, they will see the sign, “Please conserve water” or “Please keep the public sanitation.” They will follow the signs, not waste even a drop of water, and also maintain public sanitation.

A lage plot of land with different piles of recycleable material.
This is a garbage recycling place. With increased environmental awareness, all garbage is transported here for “green” disposal.

A recently consturcted multifloor building.
New buildings. With economic development, many tall buildings have been constructed in Danfeng County, and people’s living condition has been improved. Nowadays, residents are raising funds to build more buildings. The planning of our county is quite organized.

Vegetable greenhouse with bamboo supports
A vegetable greenhouse. Farmers built this greenhouse and planted a variety of vegetables so that people get fresh vegetables during the off season.