Mainstreaming: Special Education and Regular Classroom

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Mainstreaming is an important issue and realism that has a direct impact on all parties involved, including educators, students and parents. Mainstreaming is a matter that has become very controversial and therefore it requires important awareness and understanding from all peoples involved. One essential way of gaining this understanding and awareness is by reviewing what mainstreaming really is, as well as the positive and negative aspects that may arise from it. Defining the Issue: Mainstreaming

Mainstreaming, now more commonly referred to as inclusion, is thought of as the integration of exceptional students into regular educational settings, in which emphasis is placed on participation rather than placement (Perry, Winne & Woolfolk, 2000 p. 136). A classroom that is mainstreamed, is one which includes many different types of learners; in other words, mainstreaming is a classroom that accommodates students with disabilities and those without, as well as those students who are thought of as being gifted with an IQ score of above average. Disabled children in a mainstreamed classroom may vary greatly in the types of disability they might have. For example, children may have one or more of the following disabilities: physical, behavioral, mental or learning disability. It is evident then, that a classroom that is mainstreamed will indeed present a number of challenges for the teacher, since he or she must accommodate to so many different needs of the students. The main purpose of mainstreaming is to "equally support and promote a typical classroom experience for all students" (Lyness, 2001, p. 3). However, this does not exclude the usage of outside support services such as teachers' assistance or resource rooms. Therefore, the basic idea of mainstreaming is for students to receive assistance, while also benefiting from a regular classroom atmosphere. Positive Viewpoints of Mainstreaming

There are a number of interesting points that support the idea...
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