Elements of Geography
PRIMARY AND INTERMEDIATE
M. F. MAURY, LL.D.
NEW YORK :: CINCINNATI :: CHICAGO
AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY
Matthew F. Maury won fame not merely as a geographer, but as a scientist. It was in recognition of his work in making geography a science, that every nation of Europe honored him with degrees, decorations, and medals, and that Humboldt, the great naturalist, asked Prussia to add to these a duplicate of the Cosmos Medal of Science, which had been given to Humboldt himself.
In his series of geographies, Maury refused to follow the plan of all the accepted text-books of that day. His plan was to present, in simple words and in the form of a story, interesting facts about the different people of the earth, their homes, their industries, and the lands where they live; and at the same time to call attention to those physical laws which largely determine the condition, the character, and the industries of a people. As he himself expresses it: "While the author has reproduced in the pupil's mind the same vivid pictures of the various parts, places and objects of the globe, which as an eye-witness he himself retains, he has constantly aimed at pointing out geographical laws, and at giving learners glimpses into the terrestrial machinery."
When published, these geographies were such a radical departure from the old methods, that many teachers were not prepared to accept them; but leading educators have gradually come to Maury's position, and to-day the principles that he advocated are endorsed by the Committee of Fifteen of the National Educational Association.
The special features to which attention is called are:
1st. The Home, the Center of Thought.—The study of the world is begun at the home of the pupil, and other countries and places are presented in their relation to it.
2d. The Earth as a Unit.—In the first thirty pages the earth is presented as a unit, and in the pages that follow, this conception of it is at all times kept before the pupil. The continents are then taken up more fully, and after the pupil is familiar with the details of each continent, a review is given which leads him to look at the continent as a whole and in its relation to the earth as a unit.
3d. Relief Maps.—Political maps teach the names of political divisions, of mountains, rivers, etc., all of which are purely arbitrary. After these names are learned, relief maps follow. These picture to the eye the physical features of the continents. By locating upon the relief map those features with which he is already familiar, the pupil can see the physical reasons for many of the facts that he has learned. If preparatory oral lessons are given, the relief map should then be used first.
4th. The Earth as the Home of Man.—The idea of the earth as the home of man is the chief thought of the book. The full-page colored illustrations serve to accentuate this thought by giving vivid pictures of the people of each continent and of the homes in which they live.
5th. The Lessons.—Each lesson presents interesting facts in the form of a story to be read by the pupil. The teacher may talk with her class about each lesson, and may ask her own questions to develop thought and fix important facts in the child's mind.
6th. Illustrations.—The illustrations are all from photographs and are accurate. Each picture teaches some definite idea, and the descriptive text under many of them makes the pictures an integral part of the lessons.
The colored relief maps are used by permission of Mr. C. L. Patton, who designed them and who also selected the new illustrations and planned the course of instruction which they embody. We take pleasure also in acknowledging the valuable suggestions received from several distinguished educators, and in thanking our correspondents in all the leading countries of the world who have furnished many of the photographs that appear in this volume.
Copyright, 1881 and 1900, by the University Publishing Company.
Copyright, 1907, by American Book Company.