Commentary and Criticism about the National Education Association
We have absolutely no affiliation with the National Education Association and do not represent its views in any way, shape or form.
In case you have never heard of mainstreaming, this is when special education students are put in regular education classes.
The opposite of mainstreaming would be when special education students are put in their own classes rather than mixing them into regular education classes.
A more formal definition of (and further details about) mainstreaming can be found in the following articles”
“Least Restrictive Environment, Mainstreaming, and Inclusion”
"What does Mainstreaming Mean?"
"Least Restrictive Environment, Mainstreaming and Inclusion"
Regular Ed Students Don't Count
Of course, you can Google the pros and cons of mainstreaming and get all sorts of results. But what is interesting is that when using the search term “pros and cons of mainstreaming,” the top results lead to articles that assume you are only concerned about the academics and welfare of the special education student. They tend to ignore whether or not mainstreaming helps or hurts the regular education students.
Here are some examples to show what I mean:
In “Examining the Pros and Cons of Mainstreaming” the writer only weighs the pros and cons from the perspective of the special education student. She says special education students benefit socially, academically and behaviorally.
Nowhere do we get mention of whether mainstreaming is good for the regular education student.
The same perspective can be found in “Special Needs Children Benefit from Mainstreaming”
Regular Ed Students Sort of Count
One article, “Is Integrating Children with Special Needs in Mainstream Classrooms Beneficial?” does mention advantages for regular education students:
“More than 15 years of research has proven the benefits of inclusion for all involved in the process. All students grow when schools include special needs children in a mainstream environment.”
But check out why this article thinks that regular students benefit.
Nowhere does it say that the benefit is academic in nature.
I guess academics aren’t that important anymore.