The injunction to 'relate theory and practice' is one to which many people involved in professional education, both students and teachers, experience some difficulties in responding effectively. A number of studies in different caring professions attest to these difficulties (Carew 1979; Waterhouse 1987; Eraut et al. 1995). It would seem helpful, therefore, to explore how these difficulties arise, including the many pressures to adopt an orthodox position which stresses both the considerable importance and the apparent simplicity of the processes involved in relating theory and practice. It would also seem helpful to develop strategies which can assist students in maximising this important 'learning to learn' skill. Four key questions can help to elucidate this area:

1. How do students and practice teachers subjectively respond to the injunction to 'relate theory and practice'?