The author distinguishes between education, skill training and custodial child care, maintaining that only skill training and custodial care are legitimate functions of the elementary schools. Education, which Bereiter identifies with the explicit teaching of values and appropriate modes of conduct, is not well performed by the schools and more rightfully takes place in the context of the family. Schools, for their part, should limit and clarify their objectives, dividing children's time into periods of intensive skill-teaching conducted by specially trained instructors and periods with no defined teaching agenda or curriculum,when children are supervised in groups by child care personnel.

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