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Mainstreaming students with disabilities

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

The pros and cons of mainstreaming students with disabilities

The conditions settled for disabled students find a better educational life

Before starting the discussion about the pros and cons of mainstreaming students with disabilities is important to understand the concept of mainstreaming, inclusion and integration, because those terms while are not new in the education concerns, they have also been used along several other proposals in contemporary debates. What is most important is not get confused about the definitions, because there are distinctions between each application, nevertheless once inclusion, mainstreaming or integration can be integrated in same practices.

The SEDL, Advancing research, improving education web site, claims that mainstreaming defends students with or without disabilities share all physical space at school as they are able to do same activities, with minimal modifications for their adaptation. The students which present severe disabilities would also share locations, but limited to the playground, lunch time or even sports and arts program. It said by the SEDL, “typically, however, only students with mild disabilities have been allowed to participate in the traditional core academic content areas (mathematics, language arts, science, history, etc.)”. 

The integration is related to the civil rights/racial desegregation legislation promulgated in the 1960’s, what make it even transposes the thematic to a bigger context, which involves all civilians’ rights. Into the educator’s conception integration refers to academic and social incorporation pulling out the separated classes.  Inclusion is more used for instructors as an initiative to provide the best knowledge especially for children. And finally, the mainstreaming assumes that children with disability are able to take placement with non-disabled colleagues, those being accommodated with minimal modifications in the classroom environment.   

In the time to think the pros for mainstreaming students with disabilities, first is possible to think about how it can improve the educators’ capacity. As it is important to the teacher realizes the particular profile of each student, where would lay their cultural and social aptitudes.

Also is an advantage perceive how the mainstreaming can provide a contact with natural environment where the real world skills are learnt, and incentives social interaction, since there are many disabled students with difficulties in social skills, which can also delay their success in life. Several disorders as Down syndrome can be developed community skills through imitation, and it is considerable when those children are able to observe their classmates in a regular class.  

However is always important to regard that not all school foundations are ready to take students with disabilities, because it demands more resources and a structure’s adaptation. Here is possible to see the cons when the public schools are struggling to keep a budget, into a situation of difficulty to provide good educational service even to those without specialized needs.

The federal legislation passed in 1975 guaranteed a free and appropriate education to disabled students, this is known as Individual with Disabilities Act (IDEA), and after has been completed since over 30 years the schools around the United States are trying hardly to find a balance between tutoring functional academic skills and also basic care. Seem as Sharon Otterman, from the New York Times, reports in The Struggle to Educate the Severely Disable in 2010, “there are 132,000 such students in the United States, out of more than 6 million now receiving some kind of special education service at an estimated cost of $74 billion a year.”

Finally is important to consider to teacher’s perception of inclusion, what would represent a determination for the point of view established in the pros and cons of mainstreaming students. There are many surveys which make analyses of the instructions context, but all reviews arrive in similar conclusions about the teachers’ lack of adequate time and support. It means that while several students with disabilities are entering in the regular classrooms, the tutors still feel unprepared to provide a good way to attend their needs, because their own educational program has not been adequately prepared for such diversity in classroom.

From this article is possible to conclude that mainstreaming shows as an incredible opportunity for disabled children experience the real world and be in contact with the ones that they would meet out of the classes. Nevertheless mainstreaming has been a good practice, supported even by a federal legislation, furthermore is necessary to considerate that for a good mainstreaming application is necessary think in provide the good structure for the school and principally for the teachers, as without it the program application would not work in it fullness.    


Disable Children At Play

Public sign advising care about the disable children presence
Credit: Flashrmom
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