Individuals' epistemological conceptions, beliefs and ideas have become an interesting component for research on understanding how pupils learn in the modern classroom. This paper describes a research project that had two aims: (1) to design a user-friendly device for classroom teachers to be able to investigate their pupils' ideas about learning; (2) to use the device to compare pupils' ideas of learning between England and Finland. We report that pupils' (aged 14-15) ideas of learning are varied, with no clear understanding of how they learn. In carrying out the study, we also noticed small national differences between pupils' ideas. For example, Finnish pupils seem to show more dependence on their teacher than their peers in England. © 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd.
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