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Difference Between Mainstreaming and Inclusion

Mainstreaming vs Inclusion

“Mainstreaming” and “inclusions” are two different academic programs meant for IEP students. “IEP” stands for “Individualized Education Program.” It is a legal document which describes a particular educational program required and designed specifically for a child’s unique requirements and needs.
“Mainstreaming” and “inclusion” have become mandatory in schools, and they are no more just a courtesy offered by schools.

Expectations from a child

“Mainstreaming” refers to children with an IEP attending a regular classroom for their social and academic benefit. These students are expected to learn the same material as the rest of the class but with modifications in the course and adjustments in the assessment. For example, if the class is reading about U.S. states, names and capitals, a mainstream child is expected to learn only the names of the states and the capital of the state where he is living. The students are also expected to show improvement in their social skills and improvement in their academic performance.

Support in teaching
A mainstreamed child does not have any other help in the classroom except for the teacher. The support they get is in the form of modifications in the course. For example, if a child is dyslexic and has problems in reading or writing, they are occasionally given individualized reading sessions. Their reading material is simplified, and they are given simplified writing assignments.

Expectations from a child

Inclusion refers to children with an IEP attending a regular classroom for their social and academic benefit, but these children are not expected to learn the same material as the rest of the class. They have their own individualized material, and they are not expected to show improvement as per the class. They are basically “included” in the class so that they have the opportunity to be with the students of their same age and have the chance to get the same education. For example, if the class is reading about U.S. states, their names and capitals, the inclusion child is expected to learn only the name of his own state and capital of the country. Emphasis is paid to their social skill development more than academic performance.

An inclusion child does not always have disabilities. They are also students who are performing above their class level, also called “gifted students,” and students who speak the language in the classroom as their second language.

Support In teaching
The students in inclusion classrooms have a team supporting them. The regular teacher is given tips on how to help the child with special needs. There are specialists like speech therapists and physical therapists who help the teacher understand the needs of the child. The teacher is advised to know how to handle technologies and equipment which assist a special needs child.

1.Mainstreaming requires the IEP students to attend a regular classroom and they are expected to show improvement in social skills and academic performance; whereas, inclusion requires IEP students to attend regular classrooms for their own benefit not necessarily showing any improvement.
2.Mainstreaming requires a child to deal and adjust in the class on his own; inclusion classrooms have a team of specialists supporting the child.

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  1. the mainstreamed child has a full support staff as well. A mainstreamed child has fewer kids in the classroom plus a paraprofessional and a teacher can push the child as much as the child can learn. Inclusion thee child is in with a teacher and maybe an assistant with thirty kids who cannot even learn themselves because of all of the distractions. Those kids in the regular classroom who caused all of the distractions (the worst ones) end up going to a self contained EBD classroom. Why do the academics in education always try to reinvent the wheel?

  2. it really really helped me keep on doing the good work
    thank you wordspress

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