Phase 1: Posing Real Questions
At this point in time, many, if not all of us have completed Phase 0 where we decided what topic we wanted to do our inquiry project on. I chose to focus on the topic of antiques and collectibles. In Phase 1, we start to create questions which will help guide our research when we reach that stage.
What I already know
I have a very limited amount of knowledge on this topic at this time, but there are some things I do know. Antiques are often old artifacts or collectibles that have been passed down from generation to generation. Due to their age, the value of these objects have increased a lot. These collectibles end up being sold for certain prices to other people, or just traded for other artifacts of similar or equal value, which results in a market for these artifacts to be made. Given the fact that this market is worth incredibly high amounts, some people that are in it try to remain hidden so that only people who are truly interested and are willing to put effort into finding these things are able to find them. The fact that this whole market is kept hidden makes it all the more interesting to investigate.
Where I learned this
I got almost all of this information from past experiences. My mom and I often go to local markets and we try to find the shops that carry weird collectibles and while my mom is looking for what she wants to buy, I talk to the owner and have a conversation with them asking basic things like where they got these things and how old they are. While it was very interesting to do in China when I first arrived, the number of places that I can visit to see antiques becomes more and more limited as time goes on given that I would have already seen a lot of these places. Because of this, on holidays I also like to go to shops that sell antiques to see the differences and similarities in shops from, say, China and Thailand. In addition to this, some of the information I got simply came from the topic descriptor.
What I want to learn
As of now, I am not too sure as to what I specifically want to do, however, there are a few things that do interest me. I want to learn about the laws surrounding possessing antiques without a license if there is one as well as learning where these artifacts came from, how to tell their age and how to determine the values of these objects. One of the other things that I would be interested learning about is how the secrecy of the market- if there actually is any- affects the people who are in it. I think it would be interesting investigating the effects that it has on someone if they are trying to keep something secret or hidden.
I then did background research which used so that I could understand my topic in more depth so that I can later develop my Big Questions. The research that I did can be found in my Phase 3 work.