It is undoubtedly instructive for student-teachers to work alongside experienced teachers and to undertake teaching tasks for themselves. It is not difficult to find people to testify to this; on the contrary, it is rather difficult to find anyone to deny it. What is more, such testimony is not necessary: it is clearly the case that these are powerful learning experiences. It is a mistake to assume that classroom experience automatically provides the most appropriate learning. This seems to be assumed in recent proposals to locate more of initial training in schools, but is equally apparent in the structure of existing teacher education courses. There is a need for closer attention to be given to the purposes of classroom experience and the deliberate work that can meet these purposes. We do not argue that general classroom work is always of negative value; it is often neutral and can be useful. But it is seriously counter-productive when unprincipled experience is legitimized as a major component of teacher training courses: it is not unproblematically the case that more experience is better experience. It may be that more experience yields more learning (on some definition into which it is not necessary to enquire), yet more learning is not in itself better learning.