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Based on a synthesis of contributions from different authors, we present a theoretical framework that provides some foundations for school science, and we define some research problems. We start from what is already known about students' models and cognition in order to construct proposals of didactical intervention. The cognitive model of science, developed in the philosophy of science through studying scientists' activity, has allowed us to propose an analogous model for school science in which experimentation and language play the key roles. We emphasise the relative independence of school science and scientists' science.