THE GLOBAL INSTITUTION
OF SPECIAL EDUCATION
IN ITS CONTEMPORARY FORM, SPECIAL EDUcation appeared by the close of the nineteenth century, beginning in European countries as alternative or auxiliary organizational forms to regular schooling. Often in parallel to compulsory education, parents were obligated to send their disabled child to a state institution, an obligation that for a time resembled that of general compulsory education laws. As a means to accommodate children who did not easily master the curriculum or whose circumstances rendered continuous or successful attendance difficult, special schools or special classes within public primary schools arose as critical adaptations to broaden the reach of public education. Such legal and organizational modifications comprised the infrastructure of an instructional system, but these systems existed on tenuous legal and formal grounds. They were neither wholly outside the broad jurisdiction of general education, nor completely subsidiary to it.