This paper presents a study on the development of the Finnish National Core Curricula for Basic Education (NCC), published in 1985, 1994 and 2004. This study aimed to extend the understanding of the role of the core curriculum in promoting literacy education. The analysis reflected on the basis of Finnish literacy education resting on curricula over 25 years old. The six changes in approach detected in curricula content over 30 years reveal that the educational orientations to literacy curricula have developed alongside the contemporary policy strategies and pedagogical trends of responding to increasingly complex diversity within schools. The author concludes that teacher education needs to focus on preparing teachers for future-oriented, proactive curriculum design.