Mainstreaming refers to the practice of maximizing the time that students, who are receiving special education services, spend in general education classrooms and with general education peers. It incorporates the provision of free and appropriate education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). Mainstreaming aims to provide as much time as possible for special education students with their same-aged peers; it balances the individual needs of students in special education with their inclusion in the instructional and social environment of their peers. Specialized services are only provided in a pullout model when a student’s individual needs cannot be satisfactorily met in an inclusive environment. Despite the focus on inclusion with regard to policy initiatives, there is a lack of empirical support for its impact on student outcomes as a practice, as well as a model for implementation (Lindsay 2007).
References and Readings
- Powell-Smith, K. A., Stoner, G., Bilter, K. J., & Sansosti, F. J. (2008). Best practices in supporting the education of students with severe and low-incidence disabilities. In A. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology V (Vol. 4, pp. 1233–1248). Bethesda: The National Association of School Psychologists.Google Scholar