Un réel pour le XXI sciècle
IX Congresso da AMP • 14-18 abril 2014 • Paris • Palais des Congrès • www.wapol.org

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Interest Level: 90% - equals: Very High
Natalie Wülfing

"Science patently manages to render certain things sure when there are numbers":
A young woman in the final years of school reports that she was given a long questionnaire conducted by an independent government agency that deals with the transition to university. After some weeks, the 'result' of her answers comes in the form of a scientific report, with numbers in graphs and tables, using colours, scores and percentages, that the university subject she would most like to study is… (sound of drum roll)… not what she thought it was. Her 'Interest Level' was 'Very High' and her 'Overall Match' was 'High' in a subject she had not heard of, or contemplated.

These programmes "are designed to help students to make better, more informed decisions about their future education and career choices. [They] use a combination of guidance materials, self-assessments, independent assessments and objective assessments to provide information on students' interests, abilities, motivations, attitudes and values […] through a mix of questionnaires, tests, qualifications, interviews and teacher assessments".

The young woman wryly remarks "Previously I knew what I wanted to study. Now that they prove to me it is different, I am not so sure anymore. Why could they not have just asked me?" When pseudo science is sure, the subject, defeated, gives up on desire.

Natalie Wülfing