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This article spends the majority of its time informing the reader of the different facts behind the history of mainstreaming education. It begins with a glossary of different terms that are used when discussing mainstreaming. This glossary becomes quite useful, in that it relates the reader to terminology such as, IDEA, which is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IEPT which is Individualized Education Planning Team. It then moves on to the background of mainstream education. It shows the economic aspects as well, showing that to educate a mentally impaired child it costs about three times the amount it does to educate a child that is not mentally impaired. It then goes on to mention how Michigan has gone above and beyond the federal laws when related to mainstream education. The article concludes by mentioning the rapid growth of special education, which also means an increase in the need for mainstreaming these children.
This article is a firsthand account of what one teacher has learned after teaching children that have been mainstreamed. She makes three points about what need to be realized about mainstreaming in her article. The first thing she points out is a huge roadblock towards mainstreaming. The author points out that children that are mentally impaired and mainstreamed, are generally self-conscious about it, and therefore do not want to draw attention to themselves, and then do not ask questions, because they do not want to appear foolish. She then points out that children that are not mentally impaired do not ask questions because they do not want to be looked at as the dumb student. Another point that this author makes is that mentally impaired students need one-on-one contact with a teacher, which can be difficult when being mainstreamed, and being in class with 30 or more other students.
This article was very informative, in showing the differences between mainstreaming education for mentally impaired students, and the idea of inclusion. Perles points out that the main difference between the two is the amount of support the student gets from teachers and other staff. Another large difference between the two is the expectation of the student. When being mainstreamed a mentally impaired student is expected to learn at a similar pace as the other students, although a little bit slower, when going through inclusion the expectations are much lower, but are still related to what is expected of the other students. The idea behind mainstreaming is to help a student improve academically and socially by being given higher expectations, and being around other students. The idea behind inclusion is helping mentally impaired students improve socially by placing them in classrooms with other students, rather than focus on academics.
This article points out not only some of the benefits of mainstream education, but also some signs to tell whether or not a student should be mainstreamed or not. The author points out immediately that choosing whether or not to mainstream a child is a personal choice for any parent of a special needs child. She then mentions some of the factors one should consider when deciding whether or not to mainstream their child. First, a parent should consider the noise level of a classroom, and whether their child would be able to function with an increased noise level, as compared to a classroom that contains other mentally impaired students only. Another important factor is how the child behaves ordinarily in public, if the child is someone that is not capable of behaving themselves around other people in public, then they would not benefit from being mainstreamed. The author goes on to mention that mainstreaming can have positive effects on all children, the mentally handicapped children gain the social skills, and gain friendships, while other children, without those handicaps learn how to treat people that are different than they are.
This article attempts to introduce the reader to the concept of mainstreaming mentally impaired children in public education. The author starts the article by defining what inclusion is. He then points out that there are two main types of inclusion. Inclusion itself is when special needs children spends a few classes with general education courses, and then spend the rest of the day with the special education classes, whereas Full-inclusion is when special needs children spend the entire day in general education classes. Full-inclusion often means that there is either no special education classroom, or that there are very few students in there, with only one or two teachers. As the author points out, inclusion is popular for a few reasons, first it follows the American with Disabilities Education Act (aka IDEA), and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Another big reason that inclusion is a popular idea is that it is cost effective, by integrating mentally handicapped students into general education classrooms, schools do not need to hire as many staff members as they would if they were unable to mainstream those students. Arguably the biggest problem facing inclusion is the lack of general education teachers being trained so that they are able to teach both the mentally handicapped students and the other students fairly, without being too difficult on the mentally handicapped, and without being too simple for the rest of the class.
This article looks at the practicality of inclusion. The author spends most of the article informing the reader about some of the problems that face inclusion, and the practicality of it. She mentions that one of the biggest problems facing inclusion is that the teachers need to be trained in how to teach, not only general education students, but also mentally impaired students, and not just individually, but both at the same time. What the reader needs to realize, however, is that the author is not just playing devils advocate for inclusion, but rather, the author is pointing out the flaws with full-inclusion, which is easily the more difficult of the two when it comes to implementation. Unfortunately, many of the points that are brought up in this article that have become outdated, and this is not the fault of the author. The article was originally published in October 1997. Over the last 13 years, while the problems that are brought forward by the author have not been solved, but there have been strides to improve these problems, and they are being solved fairly rapidly.
This article informs the reader of what an inclusive school is like. The author points out that if inclusion is going to be successful, then the mentally impaired students need to be viewed the same as any other student, by every other student. Until this happens, inclusion cannot be considered complete, or successful. The author also includes a chart of things that inclusion seeks to do in any classroom, things that it tries to do less of, and things it tries to do more of. This includes things like Less whole class teacher-directed instruction and More attention to affective needs and the varying cognitive styles of individual students. If inclusion is going to work then schools need to address the points that this author brings up, and either solve the problems associated with them, or implement the different ideas.
This article sets out to open the eyes of the reader to the real reasons behind the mainstream movement. The author points out immediately the reasons that she believes mainstream education has become such a popular idea. The authors first reason for the popularity behind the popularity it has incurred is cost. It is a lot cheaper to pay for a few teachers that can teach both mentally handicapped children, and general education children, than pay for teachers for each individually. The reason is not so that schools can make more money by not paying for individual special education instructors, but rather because schools are facing more and more budget cuts, especially in Michigan, schools need to find way to cut costs, and by making special needs children take class with general education students the school does not have to pay for an extra instructor. The author then mentions that this is all being done deceptively, by citing that this is being done so that mentally impaired children are treated with equality, when compared to other children, people decide that these children need to be mainstreamed, and the end result is that they may not be getting the education they would be getting if they were not being mainstreamed.
This article is unique from the rest in that it not only supports the idea of mainstream education, but the article lists seven steps that parents of mentally handicapped children should go through to help determine whether or not they should consider mainstreaming their child. The author also mentions that while mainstreaming is something to consider, there are certain circumstances that one needs to think about before just assuming that mainstreaming their child is the right way to go. Before one determines that they will partake with a mainstream-style education for their child they need to consider the severity of their childs impairment. If their child is severely impaired, or needs a lot of individual attention, then the child cannot function in a mainstream environment, and it would ruin the classes that they would attend. But, if you determine that your child will be able to handle mainstream education, they should. There have been studies that have shown that children that go through mainstream education become more functioning parts of society than those that were isolated in just special education classrooms. One key point that the author did make is that mainstream education needs to address the needs of the mentally impaired child, while still addressing what the other students need academically.
This article definitely seems to be the most upbeat about mainstream education. The author mentions that for mainstream education to work parents need to be involved, but let the children believe they are the reason that everything is working so well. While the parents need to allow their children to believe this responsibility is theirs alone, the parents also play a crucial role in how effective mainstream education will be for their child. The parents need to support their children, while maintaining a reasonably high level of expectations for their children, and this way the student will reach their maximum potential. One very important factor that the3 author points out is that, while parents can assume that the people in charge of running mainstream education have their childs best interest in mind, the parents are the only people that are going to be worried about their child above all else. Parents need to be the number one advocate for their child, or they will not get what they want out of mainstream education. This article points out something that none of the others has, mainstream education does not just affect the parents, and mentally handicapped child. Mainstream education affects the entire family, siblings can often times feel isolated from their parents when all of this attention is going to just one of their children. The author points out that one thing that parents should look into is finding some form of support for everyone in the family.