Many education systems are experiencing a re-scaling and consolidation of governance through rolling national agendas of standardisation and centralisation. This paper considers the case of Australia as it moves towards implementing its first national curriculum, to explore how teacher educators plan to retain pedagogical space for debate, diversity and contestation of such systemic curricular reform. This paper reports on an interview study conducted with nine teacher educators across the four curriculum areas included in the first wave of the Australian Curriculum: English, Science, Mathematics and History. The analysis reveals how teacher educators reported professional dilemmas around curricular design, and planned to resolve such dilemmas between the anticipated changes and their preferences for what might have been. While different curricular areas displayed different patterns of professional dilemma, the teacher educators are shown to construe their role as one of active curriculum mediators, who, in recontextualising curricular reforms, will use the opportunity to reinsert both residualised and emergent alternatives in their students’ professional value sets. The study also identifies a new set of dilemmas emerging around the politicisation and standardisation of curriculum, and its impact on the teaching profession and teacher educators
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