Societal interest in individuals with high aptitudes, gifts, talents, and extraordinary abilities dates back thousands of years, perhaps as early as 3000 BC. For example…
Societal interest in individuals with high aptitudes, gifts, talents, and extraordinary abilities dates back thousands of years, perhaps as early as 3000 BC. For example, “as early as Biblical times, prophets and learned men were extolled for their wisdom and leadership. Plato likewise accorded positions of supremacy to certain individuals based on their superior endowment of intelligence. Even in the Dark and Middle Ages, generally considered inhibitory of talent and innovation, some members of society were ennobled for their intellectual and religious acumen” (Kaufmann, Castellanos, & Rotatori, 1986, p. 232). Some societies identified children with promise and potential and provided them with special education (Freeman, 1979). This was the case with the Emperor Charlemagne who in 800 AD requested that the state provide and pay for such education for children from the common masses (Schwenn, 1985).
The concept of transition and preparation for adult life has been an important yet controversial governmental initiative since the early 1980s. This governmental focus prompted special educators to develop and implement curricula to better prepare students with disabilities for adult life (Price, Gerber, & Mulligan, 2007). The curricula process involves forming linkages among local educational agencies and other human service agencies, including employment and training, adult services, leisure and recreation, and health and rehabilitation. Educators and policy makers continue to encounter great challenges to building capacity and sustained implementation of the transition curricula process at both the local school and the community levels.