What is Mainstream in Education?

Is your child getting the education they deserve? Are they being taught what is mainstream in education? Here’s what you need to know.

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What is Mainstreaming?

Mainstreaming is the placement of students with disabilities in general education classrooms with nondisabled peers for at least part of the school day. The goal of mainstreaming is to provide students with disabilities with opportunities to interact with nondisabled peers, learn the same curriculum, and be held to the same standards as their nondisabled counterparts.

Definition of Mainstreaming

Mainstreaming is the practice of educating students with disabilities in the general education classroom to the maximum extent possible. Mainstreaming began in the 1970s as a way to provide educational opportunities to students with disabilities who had previously been excluded from public schools. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that all students be included in general education classes for as much of the day as possible.

There are four types of placements for students with disabilities in mainstream classrooms:
-Part-time placement: The student attends some general education classes and some special education classes.
-Full-time placement: The student attends all general education classes, but may receive support services from a special education teacher or aide.
-Inclusion: The student attends all general education classes and receives support services as needed, but is not considered a special education student.
-Resource room: The student attends general education classes but pulls out for intensive instruction in a special education setting for part of the day.

Mainstreaming in Education

The term “mainstreaming” was first used in special education in the 1970s. It refers to the practice of educating students with disabilities in general education classrooms with their nondisabled peers, whenever possible. The goal of mainstreaming is to provide students with disabilities the opportunity to interact with nondisabled students and develop social skills and friendships, as well as academic skills.

Mainstreaming can be a controversial topic because it requires close collaboration between special education teachers and general education teachers. It can be difficult to implement in schools that do not have adequate resources or staff. When done well, mainstreaming can benefit both disabled and nondisabled students by fostering understanding, acceptance, and inclusion.

The Pros and Cons of Mainstreaming

Mainstreaming is the process of integrating students with disabilities into a regular classroom. The disabled students are mainstreamed into the regular classroom with the help of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Although the process of mainstreaming can be beneficial for some students, there are also some drawbacks. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of mainstreaming.

Pros of Mainstreaming

ThePros of Mainstreaming
When a disabled student is mainstreamed, he or she has the opportunity to interact with and learn from non-disabled peers. This can lead to a more well-rounded education, as well as social and emotional development. Mainstreaming can also make it easier for disabled students to transition into adulthood and the workforce. In some cases, mainstreaming may be the only option for disabled students, as specialized schools may not be available in their area.

Cons of Mainstreaming

While there are many advantages to mainstreaming students with disabilities in general education classrooms, there are also some potential disadvantages. One of the most significant disadvantages is that teachers in general education classrooms may not have the training or experience to properly accommodate the needs of these students. As a result, the student with a disability may not receive the individualized instruction and support he or she needs to be successful.

In addition, mainstreaming can be disruptive to both the student with a disability and his or her classmates. The student may require frequent breaks, special accommodations, and/or Modified Academic Achievement Standards (MAAS), which can make it difficult for the teacher to provide instruction that is appropriate for all students in the class. Mainstreaming can also be emotionally challenging for the student, who may feel isolated or different from his or her peers.

How to Mainstream in Education

When a child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP), they are receiving special education services. These services are designed to meet their unique needs. However, sometimes it can be beneficial for a child to receive these services in a general education classroom, also known as mainstreaming. Mainstreaming can provide children with more opportunities to interact with their peers and learn the same curriculum as their peers. It can also prepare them for a more successful transition to adulthood.

The Mainstreaming Process

The mainstreaming process typically starts with an evaluation to see if your child qualifies for special education services. Once it’s determined that your child does qualify, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is created. This document spells out the specific services and goals that will be provided to your child.

From there, the IEP team, which includes you, your child’s teachers and other school personnel, will determine which of your child’s needs can be met in a general education classroom with the help of aids and services. These services can include things like a paraprofessional in the classroom, specialized instructional materials or adaptive equipment.

If it’s decided that your child can be successful in a mainstream classroom, he or she will be placed in one. The IEP team will continue to monitor your child’s progress and make changes to the IEP as needed.

Classroom Strategies for Mainstreaming

Inclusive education is when all students, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, are invited and encouraged to participate in the same educational activities and classrooms. This type of education starts with the premise that every child can learn, regardless of any special needs they may have.

Mainstreaming is one way to provide inclusive education. It happens when students with special needs spend most of their time with their non-disabled peers in general education classrooms. With the right support, these students can be successful in inclusive settings.

There are a number of strategies that educators can use to support students with special needs in inclusive classrooms. These include:
-Differentiated instruction: This approach involves adapting the content, process and products of learning to meet the individual needs of each student.
-Universal design for learning: This approach proactively designs curriculum materials and learning experiences that are accessible and effective for all learners from the start.
-Flexible grouping: This approach groups students together based on their ability level for different activities. This allows students to receive targeted instruction at their level while still being included in the general classroom community.
-Cooperative learning: This approach structures group work so that everyone is responsible for each other’s success. It promotes social skills development as well as academic learning.

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