This article is based on research with a group of oneyear Postgraduate Certificate in Education secondary trainee teachers during their initial teacher education and training in England. It considers tensions between trainees prior experiences and conceptions of teaching and their training programme. In doing so, it seeks to examine how a trainees dispositions as revealed through practice in various contexts are reflective of Bourdieus 'habitus. Associated with this, the paper also examines how particular forms of preexisting cultural capital and manifestations of biographical identity also predispose trainees to form affinities and disaffinities within particular fields. Lacanian concepts of the symbolic, imaginary and real are used to help explain how trainee teachers articulate resonance and dissonance during their field experiences, particularly in relation to ontological concerns of securing a professional stable sense of self.