This paper reports part of a wider study that investigated classroom-learning environment, and the enacted teaching and learning practice in a Grade 9 high school science classroom in Papua New Guinea. Findings from the study revealed that the informal traditional practice of teaching and learning in Papua New Guinea differed significantly from the modern approach adopted by the country based on imported models from the West. There was evidence to show that the informal traditional teaching and learning practice in Papua New Guinea of "story telling" and "apprenticeship style" models did not readily facilitate learning for understanding and students taking responsibility for their own learning. Accordingly, there were conflicts in students' roles as learners between the new approach and the traditional expectations of students which impeded progress in learning. The study recommended that in order to maximise students' learning and understanding of science concepts in the Papua New Guinea classroom observed, cultural sensitivity should be incorporated in the pedagogy.