Breaking and making curriculum from inside ‘policy storms’ in an Australian pre-service teacher education course

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How teacher educators respond as policy actors from inside spaces where multiple policies and discourses collide provides insights into the ways in which policy plays out in educational contexts. By engaging and working within the uncertain space of our own contextual ‘policy storm’ we provide a narrative of enactment highlighting the roles and actions of policy actors simultaneously constrained and inspired by policy. We use the policy actor framework [Ball, S.J., Maguire, M., Braun, A., & Hoskins, K. (2011a). Policy actors: Doing policy work in schools, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 32(4), 625-639] to unpack policy meaning-making within university and faculty climates, teacher education, and curriculum reform in Health and Physical Education (HPE) in Australia. This paper has three tasks. Firstly, we set-up the conditions of uncertainty and possibility as a ‘policy storm’ and place where four disparate policies converged. Secondly, we provide an empirical and theoretical account of policy interpretation and enactment from the actors perspective. Finally, we test the policy actor framework to determine if it adequately describes our insider policy work. In moving beyond reductionist policy narratives we provide policy possibilities that illustrate enactment, are innovative, and explore the productive potential inside policy reform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-180
Number of pages22
JournalCurriculum Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2018


  • curriculum policy
  • curriculum reform
  • Health and Physical Education
  • higher education
  • PETE
  • policy actor framework
  • teacher education

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