Mainstreaming Essay

1107 words - 5 pages

The mainstreaming or inclusion of special education students in American schools today remains yet a controversial debate. There’re the arguments that teachers tend to spend more time attending to the needs of special education students, thus not enough time with regular students, and also that forced inclusion—as expressed by Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, the nonprofit research and development company, “leaves classroom teachers without the resources, training, and other supports necessary to teach students with disabilities in their classrooms” (SEDL, 1995). People who support mainstreaming—as expressed by on Raven’s Guide—argue that removing disabled students from the ...view middle of the document...

Due to this—and in connection to the concept of full inclusion and differentiated teaching, which involves teaching the same context and/or curriculum through different methods such as verbal, instructional, hands-on, visual, etcetera, to ensure that different students are given an equal opportunity to learn the topic—a learning method that works best for one group of students, may not be the best for another group. As authors, psychologists, and educational researchers, Tracey Hall, Nicole Strangman, and Anne Meyer, expressed in their article pertaining to the topic, “to differentiate instruction is to recognize students' varying background knowledge, readiness, language, preferences in learning and interests; and to react responsively” (Tracey Hall, 2003). Even regular, able-bodied students have various learning methods of their personal preferences, thus the need for differentiated teaching isn’t exclusive to just classrooms with special education/needs students, but is a universal thing. For instance, even in regular classrooms teachers explore different options and ways of teaching their curriculums in order to best retain the interest of their students. Most teachers may not realize it, but things as simple as handouts, worksheets, computer access, classroom video documentaries and movies, and even lab experiments are all examples of differentiated learning, and are things that are commonly seen in classrooms today, so differentiation—in connection to the issue of mainstreaming—is already impacting the way most classroom instruction and student learning are conducted today.
The self-contradictory point in the exclusion of special education/special needs students from regular classroom environments is that the central idea of teaching and of education is to prepare students and youngsters for the world, thus the idea of isolating special needs students from the regular classroom environment—from the world—while aiming to prepare them for the world can hardly be said to make any sense. As Kelly Gorski expressed, “instruction and training given in segregated settings do not prepare students for participating in integrated settings” (Gorski, 2014); students who have been educated in an isolated environment will most likely be socially underdeveloped, thus they might need to acquire more separate training or education just to acquire basic skills their peers already seamlessly developed, thus there’s a constant pattern of obtaining external training in external environments, which takes away from time they could be spending naturally gaining developments in regular...

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