Mainstreaming Ill and Disabled Students into Public School System

Mainstreaming Ill and Disabled Students into Public School System


There is a high tension between exclusion and inclusion which has been a powerful educational force in the culture of the United States (US). Public schools have experienced stages that involve incorporating huge numbers of children with disabilities into the classrooms (Vignes, et al. 477).  During the 19th and 20th centuries, there were long periods of institutional segregation for education of persons with disabilities. Currently, many students who have earlier been separated have been helped by social drive towards comprehensive education. Although slow and at times hesitant, the overall result of the movement has been progressive (Vignes, et al. 477).

Various researchers have claimed that integration of the ill and disabled students in a classroom setting will disrupt learning of regular students and deter their development. However, this is not the case mainly because including disabled students in general education classroom increases the awareness of each interrelated aspect of the school as a community, its benefits to members, its beneficiaries, relationships with outsiders, internal relationships and its history. Additionally, progress of disabled and ill students can be highlighted by making them be aware of the regular classroom. Further, it will assist them cope with the behaviors of the normal students (Baldwin, Chandran & Gusic 284)

However, evidence shows that these students do not disrupt learning of regular students. Because of this, it is imperative that teachers, administrators, students and parents look at integration of disabled and ill students with other students in a positive angle. The stereotyping and the bias associated with these students are to be minimized, especially in Arizona (Baldwin, Chandran & Gusic 285). However, there are few schools in Arizona accepting such kind of students and this study hopes that public institutions will open doors and include ill and disabled students into their classrooms.

Background of the Study

The issue of mainstreaming both ill and disabled students has been in a hot debate in educational journals. According to Baldwin, Chandran, and Gusic (287), a particular school of thought opposes this by pointing out that the practice will deter the academic learning for other regular students. Others argue that it will not affect the other students at all (Baldwin, Chandran, and Gusic 289). Additionally, another group points out that it will even help in the learning process of the other students. Ill and disabled students in the state of Arizona are currently being discriminated and are not being included in the system of public schools. Only few schools in the state accept these students in their classrooms. This has been extremely significant because the art to facilitate inclusion should work creatively with the country to boost awareness and redirect the energy used in fear toward solving the problem that promoted reconsidering of relationships, boundaries, benefits and structures (Baldwin, Chandran & Gusic 289).

When the transfer failed, students with disability remained on the outer side of education or floated with their modified education programs and their supporters. After this direction succeeded, the classroom life shifted in surprisingly quiet ways, to make way for novel relations and new learning procedures (Baldwin, Chandran, and Gusic 231).

Statement of the Problem

According to various scholars, inclusion is a viable method of giving instructions to both disable students and students without disabilities. While comparing the performance of students with disabilities with that of students without disabilities, Seligman and Darling (19) placed and integrated as well as mainstream education programs and seen lack of significant differences in between the two groups. He suggested that students are not negatively affected by being placed with others with disabilities. It was evident that students in the integrated programs have reduced poor behaviors, inhibited greater independence, increased communication skills and endangered high parental expectations (Seligman & Darling 21).

Several educators agree that schools should integrate students with disabilities in learning into general classroom. Disabled students in learning are considered as sedentary learners lingering on the margin of academic and social participation in secondary and basic classrooms (Seligman & Darling 28). Central to the argument for proper integration of the students is that for every part of the day most are transferred from general education curriculum and from their peers without disabilities. As a consequence, disabled students must continuously re-establish themselves as mainstream members (Seligman & Darling 29).

The proposed study aims at comparing the process of learning and academic learning for students within six classrooms (three from the public schools integrating disabled and ill students and regular classrooms and three from schools that do not involve disabled and ill students). In this study, the dependent variables will be the classroom with disabled and ill students.

Study Hypothesis

The proposed research will test the following hypothesis:

  • Using the test scores and grades for the students, there is lack of a significant relationship between performance for students with disabilities and those without disabilities.
  • Using the survey questionnaire results, there is lack of significant relationship between classrooms of students with disabilities and those with students without disabilities.

Significance of the study

Data gained from this study will be necessary for the administrators of public schools, counselors, teachers, parents and others in determination of exposure to an inclusion program benefiting students socially, academically and from a family standpoint. Additionally, the data gathered from the study will be availed to persons and agencies for the role of evaluation and planning of inclusion programs.

Limitations of the study

The study findings cannot be generalized to other systems in the school because it is limited to the Arizona state, specifically for the high school level.

Definition of terms

Learning Disability

A disorder entails a single or more psychological processes involved in understanding or use of language, either spoken or written that may show an inability to listen, speak, think, read, spell, write of perform calculations that adversely affects the student (Combs and Nicholas 109).


This entails the practice to serve students with full range of ill health in a generalized education classroom with a proper in-class support.

Educational Performance

The public law 94- 142 (the education of all handicapped children act) states that to the maximum extend appropriate, disabled students are educated together with students without disabilities and that separate schools, special classes or other removal from the environment of regular education occurs only when the nature of disability and severity is such that education in regular classes using supplementary aids and services cannot be satisfactorily achieved (Coovadia, Hoosen, et al. 827).

Regular Education

This is instruction with content drive directing a teacher who concerns himself or herself with the whole instruction group, grades and record keeping and fails to take into account and individual learning differences.




Works Cited

Baldwin, Constance, Latha Chandran, and Maryellen Gusic. “Guidelines for evaluating the educational performance of medical school faculty: priming a national conversation.” Teaching and learning in medicine 23.3 (2011): 285-297.

Combs, Mary Carol, and Sheilah E. Nicholas. “The effect of Arizona language policies on Arizona Indigenous students.” Language Policy 11.1 (2012): 101-118.

Coovadia, Hoosen, et al. “The health and health system of South Africa: historical roots of current public health challenges.” The Lancet 374.9692 (2009): 817-834.

Seligman, Milton, and Rosalyn Benjamin Darling. Ordinary families, special children: A systems approach to childhood disability. Guilford Press, 2009.

Vignes, Celine, et al. “Determinants of students’ attitudes towards peers with disabilities.” Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology 51.6 (2009): 473-479.