This article describes the results of a study on the views of teacher educators, and the way these views are expressed in practice. The study focuses on views of learning and teaching that can promote a shift from teacher educator-directed learning to student-directed learning. We found that teacher educators did not always 'teach as they preach', especially on aspects that distinguish the profession of teacher educators from the profession of teachers. The article concludes by discussing the influence of the findings with regard to promoting a shift from teacher educator-directed learning to student-directed learning and by giving some suggestion for further research. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.