Once upon a time there was a passerby who stopped to watch three workmen going about their labours on a building site. After a time he approached each of the workmen in turn and asked them what they were doing. The first man replied: 'I 'm laying bricks, for $4.50 an hour.' The second replied: 'I'm building a wall with these other two jokers.' The third replied: 'I'm helping to build a great cathedral.' People engaged in the same activity interpret it in very different ways. And this is the main result which has emerged from recent research into how students learn.