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Mainstreaming

Description of the Strategy

If 10 different professional educators used the term mainstreaming, they would probably give 10 different meanings for it. Most contemporary professional educators no longer use the term mainstreaming to describe efforts to integrate pupils with disabilities into general education classrooms. However, the assumptions, theories, and practices associated with mainstreaming do exist and continue to exert a significant influence on how special education services are delivered in our public schools.

Historically, our public schools have not always responded well to individual difference and disability. Indeed, for the greater part of the 20th century, individuals with disabilities were either systematically excluded from public schools or were placed in segregated educational settings (e.g., special education classrooms, schools, and institutions). Contemporary thinking (i.e., ...

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