Olney, Jesse (ŏlˈnē, ōlˈnē) [key], 1798–1872, American geographer and teacher. His Practical System of Modern Geography (1828), a standard work for decades, revolutionized the teaching of geography. Olney's method was to familiarize students with their own environment in order to progress to the study of more distant places. He served in the Connecticut legislature for eight terms, was elected state comptroller in 1867, and wrote textbooks and a volume of poetry.
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