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Version 1.2 – Updated June 2023

Mainstreaming / inclusion


  • Influence: Mainstreaming / inclusion
  • Domain: Classroom
  • Sub-Domain: Class composition effects
  • Potential to Accelerate Student Achievement: Likely to have positive impact
  • Influence Definition: Mainstreaming and inclusion involves students with special needs who are placed in a general education classroom. Inclusion is an approach to teaching that has to be consistently done and thought about by the teacher.


  • Number of meta-analyses: 11
  • Number of studies: 445
  • Number of students: 4,841,519
  • Number of effects: 1,189
  • Weighted mean effect size: 0.52
  • Robustness index: 5


Journal Title Author First Author's Country Article Name Year Published Variable Number of Studies Number of Students Number of Effects Effect Size
Evaluation in Education Kavale & Carlberg USA Regular versus special class placement for exceptional children 1980 Regular vs. special class placement 50 27,000 50 0.12
Journal of Special Education Wang & Baker USA Mainstreaming programs: design features and effects 1985 Regular vs. special class placement 11 0 115 0.33
Dissertation Baker USA Meta-Analytic Evidence for Noninclusive Educational Practices: Does Educational Research Support Current Practice for Special Needs Students? 1994 Regular vs. special class placement 13 2,532 129 0.08
Journal of the Korean Society for Science Education Kim, Park, Bang, Yoonha, & Yoon Korea A meta-analysis of the effect of inclusive education. 2015 Mainstreaming 161 0 236 0.88
Review of Educational Research Kramer, Moller, Zimmermann USA Inclusive Education of Students With General Learning Difficulties: A Meta-Analysis. 1995 Inclusive vs segregated settings 40 11,987 428 0.35
Educational Leadership Baker, Wang, & Walberg USA The Effects of Inclusion on Learning 1994 Regular vs. special class placement 6 0 6 0.20
Conference paper Dixon & Marsh USA The effect of different educational placements on the multidimensional self-concepts of students with mild disabilities: Preliminary results of a meta-analysis 1997 Regular vs. special class placement 70 0 70 0.65
Research in Developmental Disabilities Oh-Young & Filler USA A meta-analysis of the effects of placement on academic and social skill outcome measures of students with disabilities 2015 Mainstreaming 24 0 93 0.31
Educational Research Review Szumski, Smogorzewska, & Karwowski Poland Academic achievement of students without special educational needs in inclusive classrooms: A meta-analysis 2017 Inclusion on non-special needs students 47 4,800,000 47 0.12
Dissertation Ahmad USA To include or not to include: A meta-analysis on the effect of inclusion on mathematics for children with and without special needs 2016 Integrated vs special class placement 14 0 6 0.38
Social Education Zumeta USA Theory and research in social education 2009 Regular vs. special class placement 9 0 9 0.09
TOTAL/AVERAGE 445 4,841,519 1,189 0.32
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