Mainstreaming

Mainstreaming in the context of education is a term that refers to the practice of educating students with special needs in regular classes during specific time periods based on their skills. This means regular education classes are combined with special education classes. Schools that practice mainstreaming believe that special needs students who cannot function in a regular classroom to a certain extent "belong" to the special education environment.

Access to a special education classroom, often called a "self-contained classroom or resource room", is valuable to the student with a disability. Students have the ability to work one-on-one with special education teachers, addressing any need for remediation during the school day. Many researchers, educators and parents have advocated the importance of these classrooms amongst political environments that favor their elimination.

Proponents of both mainstreaming and the related philosophy of educational inclusion assert that educating children with disabilities alongside their non-disabled peers fosters understanding and tolerance, better preparing students of all abilities to function in the world beyond school.

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