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Once were curriculum developers

Harvey McQueen

The Cold War, and especially the launch of Sputnik, meant changes in curriculum development throughout the Western world. New Zealand was no exception. Our model, the Curriculum Development Unit (CDU), later the Curriculum Development Division (CDD), was relatively unique, heavily oriented towards teacher involvement. In the 1960s and early 1970s, there was a confident sense of educational progress, and curriculum development was both a driver of that feeling and a reflection of it. Towards the end of the 1970s, and throughout the 1980s, there was a change of mood. There was concern over the ever-rising cost, and society was becoming fractured over moral issues such as sex and social studies education. For six years, Merv Wellington tried to stem the curriculum development tide. That tide was overtaken by a larger wave—Rogernomics. The CDD went out of existence. For a brief period it had been a power-house of education. There are some lessons to be learnt.

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