Leaning Towards Mainstreaming & Inclusion Essays

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Mainstreaming and inclusion are very controversial subjects in the world of education, yet both are a milestone which we have reached for all special needs children. After researching the history of handicapped and special needs children, I have a stronger understanding of the subject matter. As a teacher in training, I feel that all children must feel comfortable, safe, and free in order to grow and to discover. Mainstreaming or inclusion can achieve such a achievement for most special needs children today. Yet, as always, there are some exceptions. First of all, I must explain the history of mainstreaming, and the leaps and bounds our great nation has overcome to arrive at a place of understanding our future citizens’ needs. In the …show more content…
This movement called for the monumental event, the Public Law 94-142 on December 29, 1975 (Education for All Handicapped Children Act). The congressionally approved act established a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE) to students with a wide range of disabilities, including physical handicaps, mental retardation, speech, vision and language problems, emotional and behavioral problems, and other learning disorders (Ryan & Cooper). Segregated special education classes were introduced into public school systems and remained for over 35 years. Throughout that time period, laws have been extended to accomplish nondiscriminatory treatment for all children who deal with special needs. Most recent, in 1997 the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and in 2004 the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) were amended. Following this further, both the ADA and IDEA have a main principle in common which is to achieve a “least restrictive environment” (LRE). This principle has called for the practice of mainstreaming and inclusion style classrooms which have cause much debate. The term mainstreaming is a practice of placing special needs students in general education classes for at least part of the school day. On the other hand, inclusion retains the child in the regular classroom, and brings the support services to the child rather than moving the child around to separate rooms or buildings. For the most part, I am so torn over which way I would cast a

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