Definition: Mainstreaming is an ideal situation and IDEA's preference for the placement of exceptional students. Placement of exceptional students is to be in the least restrictive environment as possible, which means, regular classroom setting. Although mainstreaming and inclusion aren't mentioned in the law, it is the preferred practice.
Mainstreaming has many advantages:
- Students are more likely to attend the school they would normally attend.
- The educational setting is more authentic.
- Regular and special education support provides a more individualized approach.
- Greater social opportunities
- Curricula is more relevant to the grade
- Greater sense of belonging
- The IEP is still in place in the regular classroom using the inclusional approach.