Abstract Workplace learning in early entry (EE) teacher education programs has been proposed as an alternative to traditional programs and as bridging the theory-practice gap in teacher education. However, there is little empirical evidence for the underlying assumption that one can become a highly qualified teacher by merely being a teacher. This article discusses to what extent students of teaching in EE programs experience their work environment as a stimulating learning environment. The results of semi-structured interviews and an online survey suggest that schools tend to hinder rather than serve the purpose of workplace learning. Obstructions and supporting conditions are discussed.