The purpose of this research was to describe young pupils' learning conceptions. In this study, a learning conception was defined as a cluster of interrelated beliefs about different aspects of learning. Firstly, 27 pupils, all in the final year of primary school, were interviewed to elicit learning-related issues as being relevant for six-graders. Secondly, a questionnaire, developed on the basis of the outcomes of the interviews, was used to determine the interrelatedness of pupils' beliefs about the selected aspects. The results showed the young pupils to have different beliefs about five aspects of learning: purpose of school; learning orientation; regulation; learning demands; and mental activities. In exploring group differences, three different learning conceptions could be distinguished: a restricted learning conception; a functional learning conception; and a developmental learning conception. The characteristics of these different learning conceptions may be indicative of how young pupils conceive learning-related aspects.
Author(s) - affiliated with Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences