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Educational Mainstreaming

  1. Geoff Lindsay

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0293

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Lindsay, G. 2010. Educational Mainstreaming. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


The history of educational provision for children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities seems extraordinary from a modern perspective. In advanced countries, education is considered a universal right for all children and young people, while in developing countries this is typically an aspiration. Until relatively recently, however, there were children denied this right. For example, it was not until 1970 that children and young people with severe learning difficulties in the United Kingdom were allowed into the education system; previously, they had been cared for in a hospital or at home. This history is relevant today, even in advanced societies, as it lies at the heart of an important question for education policy: How should children and young people with SEN be educated, in special provision or with their typically developing peers? The history has led many to propose policy based upon a values/rights perspective (Lindsay, 2003); namely, that all children have the right to be educated in a common system. This is called mainstreaming, which is also known as inclusive education. Another perspective, however, stresses the importance of the effectiveness of education.


  • mainstreaming;
  • inclusive education;
  • rights;
  • effectiveness