Mainstreaming: Special Education Essay

Submitted By khoffmann023
Words: 1729
Pages: 7

Equal Education or Stunting Learning?
One size does not fit all so why should one education fit all learners? Today schools in America think all student learn the same and which no two people learn the same way. Especially students who have special education; they get affected the most. Mainstreaming is effecting all students with learning disabilities and who learn in a different way. Students with disabilities in American school districts are all being affected by mainstreaming. Mainstreaming is the “the practice of educating students with special needs in regular classes during specific time periods based on their skill” (Jeanne, L.H.). There are many different views on special education and arguments for and against it.
So how did mainstreaming start? “Special education was borne out of, and owes a debt to, the civil rights movement. That is, the inspiration for, and the strategies used by, advocates whose efforts resulted in the first national special education legislation emerged from the struggles of the civil rights movement” (Skiba). Which formed into the idea of mainstreaming in the United States where the American experience with civil rights and the 1954 Supreme Court decision that separate schooling based on racial designation was inherently discriminatory (Bilken). Where they looked at children of different color to be treated equal with their education so why children who learn different should be treated any different. The key principle from the civil rights they borrowed for special education was the notion that children with disabilities are entitled to an education and that this should be with their nondisabled peers (Bilken). This continued to the education for all handicapped children act which stated…
To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or care facilities, are educated with children who are nondisabled; and special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieve satisfactory. (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1412[5]) (Bilken)
Where the children with disabilities would have less restrictions and have rights towards their education on how they wanted it to be handled. “Approximately 1 in 5 people in the U.S. has a disability, while 1 in 10 has been diagnosed with a sever disability” (Jeanne, L.H.). With so many people in the United States to be effected by a disability us as a whole need to look into a more effective way of helping our students to get a proper education. With most arguments there are critics and supporters of mainstreaming. For those who look down upon mainstreaming saying “intergrading disabled students into mainstream classes ignores the fact that such students have special needs that needs that can be addressed most efficiently in separate classroom settings” (Special Education). With most disabilities this involves extra time, which students are unable to receive in a mainstream classroom. Which can make a disabled student fall behind and not be able to catch up. Beyond the student “many general education teachers are not trained to address the needs of disabled children, making their job needlessly difficult” (Special Education). Making school harder on the student and the teacher. Effecting the disabled student and teacher, the peers then who are not disabled would also being get effected because “mainstreaming puts an unfair burden on both general education students, who must adjust to their classmates’ slower pace of learning, and general education teacher, who must learn how to adapt to a wide range of special needs” (Special Education).

Then with the child with disabilities are “sometimes expected to adjust to the system rather than the system to the child. The results are not always