In recent times there has been a cross-disciplinary amplification of interest in the concept of practice. In this context, there is a growing body of research considering how teaching and teacher education might be viewed using the conceptual lens of practice. In this paper I explore practice theories to identify common themes and principles that constitute a conceptual framework for the investigation of the lived experience of teaching. From this foundation, a methodological framework based on collaborative inquiry and postmodern emergence is derived. Examples are offered of the way the conceptual framework and methodological approach have been activated through the first stage of a research program that collaboratively engages the dual voices of academic researcher and classroom practitioners as co-researchers. Analysis of qualitative data reveals the potential and limitations of this practice-based foundation as a way to know, understand and represent the complexity of teaching. In conclusion, the paper develops a number of propositions as the basis for further research.