Clinical education has long been accepted as integral to the education of physiotherapy students and their preparation for professional practice. The clinical environment, through practice immersion, situates students in a powerful learning context and plays a critical role in students' construction of professional knowledge. Despite this acknowledged centrality of practice and clinical environments to the students' experiential construction of professional knowledge, there has been limited exploration of learning theories underpinning clinical education in the literature. In this paper, we explore a selection of learning theories underpinning physiotherapy clinical education with a view to providing clinical educators with a firm foundation on which to base wise educational practices and potentially enhance physiotherapy students' clinical learning experiences. This exploration has drawn from leading thinkers in the field of education over the past century.