Choosing Objects for the TOK Exhibition
Thank you for tuning into our webinar series about the new TOK syllabus! This is part two of a follow-up Q&A post where David Spooner, the host of our webinars, has answered all of your questions. If you missed the first half, you can find it here. We also strongly recommend viewing David’s brilliant webinars on the topic of TOK here and here.
After receiving many questions about ‘objects’ as part of the new TOK exhibition, we decided to create a blog post specifically with all of the queries about how to choose an object. As it is a requirement of the new syllabus, there was a lot of ambiguity surrounding examples of what would, or wouldn’t be considered an acceptable object for students to pick. We have created a table to answer each of these queries, and you can click on each one to link to the explanation for each one further down the page.
Is … an object?
An object = “a product of knowledge” that is accessible for all but is not generic/symbolic. Does this mean that a Buddha could be an object, if we are concerned with which Buddha (historical context; produced for a purpose/place), but it can’t be a standard Buddha image which we don’t know about?
Can all three objects be pictorial artefacts?
Is it correct that a photograph can be *of* an object, or the photograph can *be* the object?
Can students be present in a photograph with the object itself?
If “why these three rather than others” is key to top marks, won’t students be prevented from gaining top marks by not being able to access a physical object? After all, you’ve explained that a generic photo from the Internet is not accepted.
Is a poem an object?
Is a speech an object?
To me, a poem is an object; if a tweet is an object, then is this also true of a poem? Additionally, if an audio recording is not an object, what about a video of the key moments of a famous speech?
What makes a tweet an object?
Could you elaborate on taking a tweet by a political leader as an object?
Would a scale model of an object, for example Angkor Wat, work as an object?
Is architecture taken as an object?
Is a piece of music an object? If yes, would the context matter or its projection/interpretation?
Can one of the artefacts for the Exhibition be an audio piece?
I have not understood the rationale for why an audio piece cannot be an object for the Exhibition.
Am I right in understanding that the objects must be real and not symbolic (so, for example, something like a logo to represent capitalism would not be acceptable)?
As a chemistry facilitator, may I use the periodic table or any apparatus or equipment – e.g. digital/analytical , chemicals from the lab – as objects?
Could an image of a dynamic process (such as a captured phase of a dance performance, or an opera singer) be valid as an object?
Would a scene from a film be an object?
Can an object be a video/film?
Are there any limitations on the type of item that can be used? For example, if we reference a film, do we present a clip vs a DVD vs just the title/reference?
Can a model of Earth be used as an object?
What would NOT be considered appropriate as an object? Could acceptable objects include a tattoo or a vaccination?
It seems like an object is an arbitrary thing. Will it not create confusion for students to determine what is an object?
Is the intention that these three objects together represent the methodology of the field? Do the three have to “combine”, or are they independent of one another? In my case, with changed and multiple methods, I can only cover a moment in time, or a particular approach, I feel.
Can/should objects follow a theme (the old KQ rearing its head)?
Do students choose a specialist field based on a subject they have in their DP programme?
If we keep the objects from the same event within a theme, for example history, would it be considered too narrow?
Do you recommend that the students choose the objects and then link them to the prompts or vice versa?
In what order should students choose – theme–>prompt–> objects or object–> prompt –> theme?
Do students choose the prompt first and then look for objects or the other way around?
Should the three objects unpack the prompt? If so, what is an effective strategy?
Is it important that the three objects represent three distinctly different ways of responding to the prompt?
Is there any suggestion that the three objects chosen should be of distinctly different “sorts”? Is there any opportunity to introduce dynamism into what might naturally be static elements?
Can the artifact be something the student has created individually? Or perhaps created as part of a group activity?
Should the artifact have personal significance or can it represent a community or a group?
If a student uses a painting created in Visual Arts class as an object for the TOK Exhibition, is that considered “double-dipping” or academic dishonesty, as the same object is used for two different assessments?
So, using an object created for Visual Arts is not considered as “double-dipping”?
If using a Visual Arts object, isn’t there a risk of overlap in what students say in its exploration/explanation during the two exhibitions?
How should students connect three objects, a KQ and one of the IA titles?
All three objects should come out of one IA prompt. Can students make connections with more than one prompt?
What if a few students choose the same object or objects? Will that be allowed?
¿Qué tipo de preguntas podrían estimular la reflexión y profundización en el conocimiento a través de un objeto físico ?