To read this content please select one of the options below:

“Are we there yet?” 25 years of reform (and reform, and reform, and reform) of teacher education in Australia

Nicole Mockler (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Sydney School of Education and Social Work, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia)

History of Education Review

ISSN: 0819-8691

Article publication date: 14 November 2023

Issue publication date: 21 November 2023




The purpose of this paper is to explore the reform of initial teacher education (ITE) policy in Australia over a 25-year period from 1998 to 2023. It examines policy shifts and movements over this timeframe and aims to better understand the ongoing reforms in the changing contexts of their times.


The paper engages a critical policy historiography approach, focusing on four “policy moments” each linked to a review commissioned by the Commonwealth government of the day. It draws upon the reports and government responses themselves, along with media reports, extracts from Hansard, and ministerial speeches, press releases and interviews related to each of the four policy moments, asking critical questions about the “public issues” and “private troubles” (Gale, 2001) of each moment and aiming to shed light on the complexities of these accounts of policy and the trajectory they represent.


The paper charts the construction of the problem of ITE in Australia over time, highlighting the discursive continuities and shifts since 1998. It traces the constitution of both policy problems and solutions to explain the current policy settlement using a historical lens.


Its value lies in offering a reading of the current policy settlement, based on a close and systematic historical analysis. Where previous research has focused either on particular moments or concepts in ITE reform, this analysis seeks to understand the current policy settlement by taking a longer, contextualised view.



The authors acknowledge support of the Harris Manchester College community at the University of Oxford.


Mockler, N. (2023), "“Are we there yet?” 25 years of reform (and reform, and reform, and reform) of teacher education in Australia", History of Education Review, Vol. 52 No. 2/3, pp. 115-131.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles