Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Where to Draw the Line

If mainstreaming is going to be a part of every school, there obviously must be some conditions that go with it, but exactly where to draw the line is still in question to me. Certainly not every child with special needs should be thrown into integrated classrooms because of each individual need, but many students would thrive in this situation. There are a few small first steps that every school could take in order to turn in the mainstreaming direction without having to discriminate by needs. In the story of Oscar, he was successfully mainstreamed because of a few small measures that his school took: students were placed in schools within their neighborhood throughout their career, homeroom was an integrated class, and there were no segregated spaces within the school (computer labs, libraries, etc.). By taking these small measures any school can begin integrating special needs kids into classrooms without having to determine “who goes where.” These steps can be district wide and students and teachers can immediately benefit from being in an integrated environment.