In this paper we report results from a pilot study involving preservice teacher education students' application of the dimensions of 'Productive Pedagogy' (PP) in their teaching, during their internship. Using data from observations of the preservice students' teaching and from interviews about their experience of applying PP, following their participation in a single semester elective subject, some principles for the incorporation of PP into teacher education are suggested. The paper begins with an overview of the concept of Productive Pedagogy, current research into its use by practising teachers, and arguments for PP as a framework for preservice teacher education. Next, we provide an analysis of the data, and elaborate arguments to refine the potential use of PP as a framework for teacher education. While the elective subject model is seen to have had some positive impact on preservice students' teaching, it is argued that a more fundamental reorganisation of teacher education is required if preservice teachers are to incorporate PP into their personal approaches to teaching. Given a particular concern about the low levels of intellectual quality produced by these student teachers, we argue for a qualitative shift in teacher education away from a focus on teaching methods and strategies, and towards the substance and purposes of teaching.