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Partial Mainstreaming Considerations

Page history last edited by Elizabeth Croft 14 years, 8 months ago

Partial Mainstreaming Considerations



Partial mainstreaming can be seen as a combination of integration and pull-out, segregated or alternative educational settings. In this respect, “integration is a specialized term used by staff in special education to refer to the provision of special services in regular classroom settings and not in pull-out programs” (Pineault & Stayrock, 1993, p. 6). Alternatively, students may also attend two separate programs; for example, they may attend a school for the deaf for half the day and a typical hearing school for the other half of the day.



In another respect, integration can mean “the coordination of special services provided to students so that these special services are not fragmented, duplicated, or a cause or excessive movement into and out of the classroom” (Pineault & Stayrook, 1993, p. 6). In this case, partial mainstreaming may be viewed as a way to coordinate the special services provided in a combination of environments in a way that ensures smooth, synergistic instruction between the two environments.



“Just as the range of severity for learning disabled students is vast, so it is with children who have speech and/or language difficulties. This is an important consideration for integrating services for students” (Pineault & Stayrook, 1993, p. 58). Often, students with speech/language issues are enrolled in the regular classroom setting (Pineault & Stayrook); with students who have a hearing loss, this often depends on the degree of hearing loss and the program/language/modality choices that have been made for the student. “The most widely accepted model for serving these students was to provide services in a pull-out resource room” (Pineault & Stayrook, p. 73). The benefits of this approach include:

·         Students are able to remain in the classroom and not miss out on what is happening;

·         Students are exposed to positive role models for speech and language;

·         Students in resource programs for speech may become too dependent on the individual and/or small group attention, and may not be able to perform at the same level when faced with a whole class instructional setting. This is true for activities such as following directions;

·         There is less fragmentation in instruction since specialists can work with the classroom curriculum as a vehicle for providing services (Pineault & Stayrook, p. 74).

Additional benefits for deaf and hard of hearing students may include interaction with typical, same-age hearing peers and the fostering of a sense of 'normalcy'.



“The absence of an ‘integrating philosophy’ is a weakness in implementing integration, where teacher acceptance and support is vital for its success. Lack of time to accomplish goals in a regular classroom setting and lack of staff were cited as the key factors which inhibit successful integration” (Pineault & Stayrook, p. 60). Teachers reported that the most common weaknesses with integration include:

·         Student needs can not always be met and are not being met in the regular classroom;

·         It is impossible to get around to all of the different classrooms, even all of the classrooms where teachers are willing to integrate. How do you choose to integrate services for one group of students in room A and not for the students in classroom B;

·         There is currently no planning time for classroom teachers to work with specialists. There must be built in planning time to communicate and share goals for students, plan lesson content and delivery, and follow up (p. 61).



In order for students to benefit from this type of integrated service, Pineault & Stayrook (1993) argue that the following key factors must be in place:

·         Planning time for regular education teachers and specialists;

·         Willingness on the part of both regular education and speech/language service providers;

·         Compatibility in teaching styles and personalities that promotes a positive working relationship;

·         Flexibility in scheduling and instructional delivery (p. 60).






Pineault, B., & Stayrook, N. (1993). Integrating special services: Seeking a balance in meeting student needs. Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Program Planning and Evaluation Department, 1-213.




Posted July 4, 2009 by Elizabeth Hutchins-Croft

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