This article investigates the development of new teaching ideologies in the context of the technocratic ideology of the Cold War. These ideologies did not simply vanish after 1989. The catchwords were “programmed instruction” and “teaching machines”, accompanied by the promise that all students would make efficient learning progress. Although Eastern and Western states fought the Cold War over political ideologies, their teaching ideologies (perhaps surprisingly) converged. This may explain why neither the apparent failure of these educational ideologies nor the end of the Cold War led to the modification of the ideologies themselves, but rather to the modification of devices serving the ideologies.