I remember reading children can vary tremendously in their interest for objects versus people (I should look up the source for this. If this claim sounds unlikely, let me know, I’ll try to dive into the literature for references). The childhood objects assignment confused me cause honestly … I never had any particular object that struck me as anything. It felt a bit weird to say “People are my objects” but reflecting on this more, I’m wondering if more people feel this way?
E.g., as a kid of about 7 years old, I noticed I had to adjust my speech based on what person I was talking to. I had this idea of 5 “languages” in my head, that were mixes of English and Dutch (I was raised bilingually) and complexity of the words I should be using.
Similarly, I noticed cliques of kids where you could fit in by acting in different ways. I loved friending everyone I could and chameleoning around the different groups, and I was always developing frameworks for how different kids were processing things differently. By the time I was 12, I had started reading psychology and cognitive science literature on these topics, and in the end I went in to computational psychology as my main field.
My understanding is that many people are much more fascinated by people (relationships, traits, abilities, interactions, etc) than objects, and maybe they get a similar kick or understanding out of this as people who latch on to gears or water dynamics (my husband’s answer when I discussed the assignment with him last night).
I’d be curious to hear everyone’s thoughts on this. Here are some questions:
- Any one else struggle to generate an object?
- Any one else feel they were more people-focussed than object-focussed?
- Or maybe there is even a third category of things?
- Why are objects even the focus for this learning framework?
This is very interesting, even though I had objects that I was clearly attracted to, I relate to what you said about being fascinated by people… I loved making friends and I was also someone who could make friends easily, I had a fluid personality.
I would say, as I grew up, I became more of a people-focussed person than an object-focussed person, I can’t remember the last time any object that sparked joy in my adulthood, mostly that did were either part of nature or people.
I guess objects are easier to recognise as a kid? People are nuanced with their behaviour so maybe as a child, it’s difficult to understand them? I had a toy as a kid which I loved and told all my stories to when I was sad, as I look back, I realise I never shared any of those with my parents or friends because I was afraid of their reactions maybe? Idk, I’m just speculating… I’m sure maybe there is in fact a third or fourth category of things, children and adults and how their minds work are so interesting to me, I’d love to learn more about why and how things make us curious and inspired as kids, people objects or everything else!
Those are some great points! Your post made me wonder if people who have their main childhood objects around dolls and imaginative play might actually be people-focussed in a way? As in, it might be a way to simplify the complexities of the human mind and practice your understanding of interactions, relationships, and personalities.
that makes so much sense!
This is all very interesting. I’m not sure if it’s the same idea you mention exactly, @Shoshannah , but I read somewhere about kids attracted to making (let’s say LEGO kids) vs attracted to telling (like playing with dolls, making up stories). So I guess it’s reasonable, that being drawn to objects like dolls is somehow related to being more interested in people and interactions, just in a simplified, symbolic environment…
As of my experience, I think I was definitely more attracted to stuff, being somewhat introvert, though I’ve always taken object here very loosely (is LOGO an object?). Anyway, when thinking about things that were significant in my childhood, like books or my little toy piano, even though they were objects, and implied an important amount of alone time, they were always related to my family, as something we all loved and shared, and there probably lies part of my love for them I guess.
Anyway, some random thoughts on the matter
Thank you for sharing! I can relate to that a lot
My profiling side immediately wonders if the people who showed more interest in mechanical objects went on into technical careers while the people interested in narrative/people like objects went on into interpersonal careers :D
I’ve read the book and I think the Resnick’s approach to making X students is to let them have a space where they can tinker with objects to create things while at the same time getting help or feedback from their peers. Unless you are Dr. Frankenstein then you can’t tinker with people to make new people. However, Dr Frankenstein did get feedback from people - in the form of pitchforks and torches.
Love your perspective about this. I had to think for a moment or two regarding the childhood object. I had multiple objects that journey’ed with me through my childhood. I believe the objects assignments is interesting because it aligns quite well with the 4 P’s. Maybe one of the next assignments would be to speak about people and how they help us with our creative learning journey.
I was a kid who moved around a lot (middle school was quite difficult as I attended 6 schools and was the perpetual “new girl” from 6th - 8th grades). That was quite traumatic as middle school mean girls can be so horrible. Because of this experience, I learned to choose wisely your friends. It was not a goal to be friends with everyone, but to find those few whom I resonated with and could authentically be “me” rather than a chameleon trying to fit in to others’ expectations of me. This served me well in high school when peer pressure caused other people to do things they really didn’t want to do just because everyone else was doing it. I actually made a few lifelong friends that way who gained their own courage to say no to “the pack” after I did it first.
I didn’t struggle to generate an object. I approached the assignment by looking back at memories to find something that inspired me to take action. I think objects were the focus for that reason… because they can inspire action that results in creativity of some sort.
I struggled a couple of times, you see, I have a strong belief that relationships are the key to bond with your students, when you have that link with your kids your voice get into them, and they hear you “for real”, not only to look fine and well seated at your class, instead they will be willing to stop for a minute and sit down to pay complete attention to what you have to say. Relationships are as important as the content and the objects. Objects are a method of transportation of knowledge and not the centerpiece of it, but, there is something that objects can provide to students that the relationship can´t, the ability to build, create and reinvent prototypes of almost anything their imagination can think of.
I feel like I’m obsessed with objects. I don’t like sharing my objects or even books. When I think about my childhood, my mum played an important role. She was my mentor and bestfriend. I didn’t have many friends. I had a good relationship with my teachers. My teachers inspired me to choose my career. I can say I’m more people-focused than object-focused.