The impact of national curriculum context on mathematics related beliefs of 12 beginning middle grades mathematics teachers was investigated after the teacher education program and first-year teaching through interviews and a combination of three belief frameworks. National curriculum requirements, lack of effective mentoring programs, and preservice tutoring experiences were detected as the major factors impacting beliefs. Participants simultaneously had teacher-centered and student-centered beliefs, causing inconsistency in beliefs and practices. While participants' preservice and first-year experiences contrasted, they developed contextual beliefs to deal with the difficulties. Reflections on teacher education and beginning teacher support policies in national curriculum contexts were discussed. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.