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Familiar geography
Title : Familiar geography Familiar geography
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Creator : Gaultier, Aloisius Edouard Camille, Abbe, 1746?-1818
Source : Familiar geography / 4th ed
Place Of Creation : London
Publisher : J Harris
Date of creation : 1832
Format : Book
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
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Description :

The Abbé Gaultier was an influential French educator who fled to England during the French Revolution. He established a school for émigré children and published books of games designed to teach a variety of subjects, including geography. He believed that games could make learning amusing and keep children interested in a subject. He further encouraged children to think for themselves and to exercise their own judgment.

In Familiar geography, the preface states that this fourth edition is 'convincing proof of its utility and an additional indication of the public opinion in favour of the method of instruction invented by the Abbé is intended for young persons, preparatory to their entering upon a course of the Author's games.'

Gaultier's methods found a ready market in England where map publishers in particular were quick to utilise their maps to produce a variety of games. This method of learning was very different from the rote method of recitation of countries and cities, and map games quickly extended to card games as well. Gaultier was not the first to promote this style of teaching. It had also been utilised by Plato, by Desmarests for the teaching of Louis XIV, and more recently in England by John Locke.

Further reading :

Darton, F. J. Harvey. Children's books in England: five centuries of social life, Cambridge [Cambridgeshire]; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982

Muir, Percy H. English children's books, 1600 to 1900, London: Batsford, [1954]

Shefrin, Jill. Neatly dissected: for the instruction of young ladies and gentlemen in the knowledge of geography: John Spilsbury and early dissected puzzles, Los Angeles: Cotsen Occasional Press, c1999

Internet links :
Princeton University: Cotsen Children's Library See: Research Collection: Conference Proceedings. Shefrin, Jill 'Make it a pleasure and not a task': Educational games for children in Georgian England
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