Mainstreaming Classrooms

Essay by chawawwa33College, Undergraduate October 2004

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According to D'Arcy Lynees, mainstreaming is an educational method that includes all types of learners as opposed to separating them according to their differences (Lynees, D'Arcy, 2003). The purpose of mainstreaming is to give every student a normal classroom experience; however, meeting the needs of each student may become quite a challenge. The term mainstreaming was not introduced into society until around 1975 (R. Turbull et al., 1995). Many advocate of mainstreaming believe that it positively affects all those involved. Mainstreaming allows children to learn firsthand that everyone has different needs, as well as different strengths. Within a mainstream classroom, these needs are respected and embraced; however this is not enough. Many people argue that when a child is mainstreamed into a regular classroom, he or she loses the individualized attention provided in a strictly special education class. Obviously, mainstreaming is not the answer for all special needs children. Children should only be mainstreamed when it is appropriate.

Aside from that, others may find that they will develop normally within a special education class or in a resource room (, 2003). Three major points of argument that arise with the topic of mainstreaming are whether mainstreaming is effective, whether the special needs student is positively affected by mainstreaming, and whether teachers have the right qualification to teach in a mainstreamed classroom. Research proves that special needs children should not be mainstreamed into regular education classrooms.

An initial point of argument is whether mainstreaming if effective. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, effective can be defined as having an expected or intended effect(). Proponents of mainstreaming argue that it is effective because children with special needs are given modification, adaptations, and assistive technology when they are mainstreamed. Modifications may include a teacher changing in their teaching method. For example, a teacher...