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Some of the critical factors that relate to the learning of science concern culture,

access to economic resources, educational background of parents, language and

living with only one parent. Just how will students go about the task of learning

science? Obviously, there are ways in which this can be done, but in the United

States, the reform documents have for many years now recognized the central role

of the learner in making sense of what is to be learned. It is recommended that the

teacher adopts a mediational role in maintaining a learning environment that is

conducive to the learning of all students. However, research that I have under-

taken with my colleagues suggests that most teachers have not implemented the

recommendations for reform but have, instead, maintained a traditional approach

to the teaching and learning of science based on a transmission-absorption model

of teaching and learning.