In this paper, I present the findings of a self-study into my teaching practices as a sociology-of-education lecturer working in the pre-service teacher education programme of a regional university in New South Wales, Australia. The principal data source is a log book of the teaching practices which characterised several tutorial classes taught in 2007. To understand these practices, the paper draws upon Aristotle's concepts of techne and praxis, and Bourdieu's understanding of practices as socially constructed and contested. The paper situates tensions between more technicist and praxis-oriented teaching approaches to pre-service teacher education within the teacher education and university contexts in which these classes were undertaken. In doing so, the article reveals tensions between assessment-driven and more authentic teaching practices, and more student and teacher-centred teaching practices. The article also shows how accountability pressures within tertiary settings have led to a more instrumental approach to tertiary teaching. I conclude there is a need for greater attention to the conditions of work which influence teacher educators' practices, rather than fetishising individualistic instantiations of such practices.