A fascinating read about an historic period in NZ education policy in the early 1960s, unearthed by the wonderful Kiwi Research Information Service’s recent items RSS feed.
The interaction and networking of key participants is studied and the important inter-relationship between central bureaucratic interventions and powerful educational pressure group activity points to the continuing operational success of central government processes. The often competing forces of provincialism and centralism in New Zealand education underlie many of the conflicts surrounding educational change. Religion, race, gender and class are forces that continually interact to create legitimation crises. The governmental attempt to minimise or at least rationalize these socially contested differences in education from 1960-1962 is the subject of this thesis. An analysis is made of the process by which public dissatisfaction regarding education in the fifties and sixties was mediated and largely marginalised by the educational bureaucracy. This is done by a thorough examination of the interaction of pressure groups, unions, media and governmental agencies during the two year submissions to the Commission on Education 1962. The distinction between the commission’s report and the submissions and interrogations leading up to the report is important, as the primary data extracted from the primary resource material in the submissions, at times, contradicts the departmental view as expressed in the report itself.