Teacher education students’ instructional metacognitive knowledge needs to be well developed to promote both their own learning and their prospective students’ learning. In this study, we asked teacher education students to provide answers to the question “What happens in my university classes that helps me to learn?” Students identified issues such as supportive classroom environments, teachers’ professional and personal qualities, practical activities, reflection, and discussions. Cognitive organisation strategies were not well represented. Cluster analysis and multidimensional scaling of students’ responses identified a perceptual separation between teachers’ and students’ roles, suggesting that participants’ sense of personal agency, shared responsibility for learning, and involvement in a learning community, were not developed in directions suggested by contemporary educational theory. Implications for teaching-learning interactions that have the potential to develop students’ instructional metacognitive knowledge are discussed.

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