Effect on Positive Peer Interaction When Mainstreaming Students Who Are in a Self-Contained Classroom Literature Review

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The literature in this work examines the effect of positive peer interactions when mainstreaming students who are in a self-contained classroom. This work conducts a review of peer-reviewed academic and professional literature in this area of study.

Instructional Time Comparison

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The work of Katz and Mirenda (2002) entitled: "Including Students with Developmental Disabilities in General Education Classrooms: Educational Benefits" reports that a study which compared instructional time for students with developmental disabilities and special education classrooms states findings that "the percentage of non-instructional time was significantly different in the two settings, with 58% in the segregated classrooms and only 35% in inclusive classrooms." It is stated that even when deleting the whole class instruction "…a significantly greater amount of time was devoted to instruction in the inclusive classrooms. This may explain why, despite smaller staff-to-student ratios in segregated classrooms, several studies have documented that students are more often alone, and less often engaged, in self-contained classrooms." (Katz and Mirenda, 2002) Additionally, it is stated that the inclusive classrooms focused instruction "to a significant extent on academics (72% of the time) as compared to the segregated settings (24% of the time)." (Katz and Mirenda, 2002) Furthermore, it was found that there was more provision of instruction by paraprofessionals and other adults "in the segregated settings than in the inclusive (43% to 21% respectively); conversely, peer-peer instruction was more common in inclusive (18%) than in segregated settings (< 1%)." (Katz and Mirenda, 2002)

II. The Need for Extra Assistance by Special Needs Students

TOPIC: Literature Review on Effect on Positive Peer Interaction When Mainstreaming Students Who Are in a Self-Contained Classroom Assignment

The work of Qualls (2007) entitled "Mainstreaming Students in the Classroom" states that concerns associated with mainstreaming is that the children who are more severely handicapped will need extra assistance and one teacher is not enough for mainstreamed classrooms. Additionally some mainstreamed students are found to be unmanageable by teachers and finally, attention may be taken away from other students in order to focus on the needs of special students.

III. Psychological Outcomes of Inclusion

The work of Hersen and Thomas (2005) states that data on the psychosocial outcomes of inclusion vs. The wide range of placements is very limited due to variations of methodologies used across studies, and variation in the details of the placements themselves. However, a rationale supporting integration for children with MR and other disabilities is the assumed impact of integration in the socio-emotional domain, that is, there are increased opportunities to interact with children with more developed social skills and increased opportunities for relationships with nondisabled peers." Hersen and Thomas, 2005)

IV. Physical vs. Social Integration

While students with only mild cognitive impairments when placed in mainstreamed schools have reported having less depression and loneliness and to have participated in "more age-appropriate leisure skills than similar students placed in special schools" findings show that "simply being physically integrated does not guarantee social integration." (Hersen and Thomas, 2005) This has resulted in those who support "a wider range of placement opportunities" cautioning that "forced integration for all individuals may be more stressful than beneficial…" (Hersen and Thomas, 2005)

V. Interrelated Influences on Personality Development

Hersen and Thomas (2005) additionally state that there is no "single solution to the issue of classroom placement for all individuals with mental retardation, which is not unexpected given the range of expression of characteristics and adaptive levels…" (Hersen and Thomas, 2005) Variability in the success of inclusion is stated to be in terms of outcomes "a function of a complex interplay among a variety of variables." (Hersen and Thomas, 2005) it is suggested in the literature that there are several powerful and "interrelated influences on the development of personality, including: (1) experiences of failure related to a lack of ability; (2) poor social networks and perceived social isolation; and (3) negative social comparisons. (Hersen and Thomas, 2005)

VI. Negative Aspects of Mainstreaming/Inclusion

The work of Crowell, et al. (2005) states the following negative aspects of mainstreaming or inclusion of special needs students: (1) inclusion programs effectively meet the education needs of only some students; (2) general education settings produced achievement outcomes for students with LDs that were neither desirable nor acceptable; (3) it is a large task to implement inclusion education; (4) Without proper planning and support, successful inclusion placements are difficult; (5) it is hard to accommodate students… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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