ERIC Number: ED336433
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Mainstreaming Debate.
Harvard Education Letter, v5 n2 Mar-Apr 1989
The question of responsibility for the education of disabled students has become a controversial issue. This article explores the debate between proponents of special education and of mainstreaming for academically handicapped children. Under Public Law 94-142, disabled children are guaranteed an appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment, as specified by an individualized education program. While this entitlement is widely supported, it entails significant administrative and budgetary problems. The Regular Education Initiative (REI), proposed by the Department of Education in 1986, is a strategy for unifying regular and special education. In question are the quality and value of special classes and "pull-out" programs for students with mild academic handicaps. REI proponents call for a fundamentally restructured mainstream that would provide a better education for all children at lower cost. The efficacy of supplementary resource room or learning center services is examined, especially in terms of reading instruction. Ramifications of handicap identification and classification, including implications for equal educational access, are also explored. Innovative programs, such as the Adaptive Learning Environments Model (ALEM) and Team Assisted Indiviualization (TAI), are described. Broadened regular education teacher training, increased special and regular education collaboration, and budgetary flexibility are suggested as key elements for change. (AF)
Descriptors: Classification, Elementary Secondary Education, Grouping (Instructional Purposes), Handicap Identification, Individualized Education Programs, Labeling (of Persons), Mainstreaming, Reading Difficulties, Regular and Special Education Relationship, Remedial Reading, Research Needs, Resource Room Programs, Special Programs, Teacher Effectiveness
Harvard Graduate School of Education, Longfellow Hall, Appian Way, Cambridge, MA 02138-3752.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Practitioners; Researchers
Authoring Institution: Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA. Graduate School of Education.
Identifiers: Adaptive Learning Environments Model; Education for All Handicapped Children Act; Team Assisted Individualization