To clear the way for exploring the suggestions identified at the end of the last chapter, it is first necessary to deal with a bold claim, which if justified, would curtail such exploration before it got underway. This is the claim by Alasdair MacIntyre that teaching is not a practice. In 2002, more than two decades after the publication of his most influential book After Virtue, MacIntyre took part in a dialogue on education with Joseph Dunne, subsequently published in 2004.1 During the course of that dialogue, he declared that ‘teaching itself is not a practice, but a set of skills and habits put to the service of a variety of practices.’2 What is surprising about this claim is that the distinguishing features of a practice, perceptively described by MacIntyre in After Virtue, would seem to apply par excellence where the activity in question was the deliberate promotion of human learning through teaching. This is the heart of the point put to MacIntyre by Dunne, to question the claim that teaching was not a practice. MacIntyre’s claim rests on his argument that ‘the teacher should think of her or himself as a mathematician, a reader of poetry, an historian, or whatever, engaged in communicating craft and knowledge to an apprentice.’3 At first sight, this characterization might appear plausible in the case of a teacher as subject specialist in a university, or perhaps a secondary school, although even in these instances it doesn’t hold up under closer scrutiny, as I hope to illustrate a little later. But it is difficult to see, as Dunne suggests to MacIntyre, how it could apply at all to primary schools or to early childhood education. Equally important, as Dunne points out, ‘good teachers not only instruct their students, but also create in their classrooms and in the school generally, the hallmarks of a community of inquiry and of virtue.’4