Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Juliet E. Hart
Mainstreaming is a legal policy mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that addresses the placement and participation of students with disabilities in general education classes to the degree appropriate to meet their needs. Students with disabilities are integrated with their nondisabled peers for all or a portion of the school day and for all or only a few classes, depending on the students' characteristics and the accommodations required. Previously, mainstreaming was invoked primarily when moving students from special education classrooms to general education classrooms, typically for nonacademic portions of the school day, such as art, music, and physical education. More recently, it has included réintégration into content area (e.g., science, social studies) and even core academic subjects (e.g., reading, math). Notwithstanding this focus on the return to more inclusive, normalized settings, the special educator has principal responsibility for the mainstreamed exceptional child and works collaboratively with the ...