Teacher educators who advocate new learning approaches hope that their graduates will address the needs of digitally and globally sophisticated students. A critical, enquiry-based framework for teaching attempts to unravel many traditional assumptions about learning, assumptions which continue to shape preservice teachers' practices even through early career years. Evidence in relation to effective take up of new learning education approaches by graduates is sparse. This research concept emerges from a pilot study exploring the first year teaching experience, and asks further questions about the tensions between theory and practice during the beginning teacher phase. We explore six case studies of teachers who graduated from new learning programs, observing ways that educational theory encounters the daily realities of classroom practice. How can new learning frameworks transform older, embedded views? Can changed approaches be consolidated and mobilised against some of the adverse conditions that predominate in schools? We also ask what support research of this kind might offer beginner teachers who are struggling to implement a change process.