London: Seeley, Burnside, and Seeley, 1846. Third edition. First published by Seeley in 1832. With ten lithographed plates of shells. Preface by Charles Mayo, the author’s brother. Also, with the author’s preface to the second edition. Some sunning to spine and dustsoiling to top edge. Some foxing to plates and to first few leaves and light marginal toning. Partially unopened. A very good copy. Publisher’s blue cloth. Octavo. xiii, , 228 pp. Item #17602
Elizabeth Mayo (1793 – 1865) was an educational reformer and writer who played a major role in popularizing the theories of Pestalozzi in England. Mayo and her brother Charles (1792 – 1846) also ran an evangelical school based on theories that Charles had learned from Pestalozzi. Mayo wrote her two most successful books, Lessons on Objects (1830) and the present work, based on the Pestalozzian method of the object lesson, which developed observational skills through the careful examination of objects. These two books were the first of their kind in England, and popularized the use of the object lesson for generations of teachers. While running the school in Cheam with her brother, Mayo developed a lifelong interest in early childhood education and the teaching methods best suited for that age group. In 1843, Mayo began working at the Home and Colonial Infant School Society in London, where she became the first woman in England to be employed in teacher training. She developed lesson plans, supervised curricula, and acted as a general consultant at the institution. The institution offered a broad course to prepare students to teach grammar, math, geography, the arts, and physical education. By the late 1840s, the Home and Colonial Society provided teachers to early childhood education programs all across England, and was widely distributing lesson plans and teaching materials to schools as well.
In the Oxford DNB, Janet Shepherd writes, “Elizabeth’s emphasis on structure, at a time when early years teaching tended to be unsystematic, secured her importance in the history of infant education.