The Standard Deviants - American Government Gift Pack (American Government, Parts 1 & 2) [VHS]

 
9781581980738: The Standard Deviants - American Government Gift Pack (American Government, Parts 1 & 2) [VHS]
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Feature cool Standard Deviants highlighters, post-it notes, and pencils, as we;; as a significant discount to the customer. Packaged in a 4-color retro-style box (with handle), The Standard Deviants Gift Packs are a great holiday or Back-To-School item to highlight. Includes American Government Parts 1&2 on VHS. TOTAL RUNNING TIME: 3 hrs. 52 min.

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Review:

The Standard Deviants: American Government Part 1
An unorthodox lesson in civics is presented by the Standard Deviants, a cast of energetic young performers, in this video, which is designed as an extensive review guide for a course in American civics. Starting with the ethics of Aristotle and quickly jumping forward to philosophical concepts espoused by Locke and Hobbes, the performers present the basic background of American democracy in skits and recitations that are often oddball mnemonic devices. Topics covered include the theories behind democracy, the grievances the American colonists had against the British, the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, and the eventual drafting and ratification of the Constitution. The landmark legal cases and the principles of civil rights are also covered. The approach to the subject matter may not be to everyone's liking, and at times the performers do seem to trivialize matters that are generally approached with some solemnity. However, this video has academic advisers, including professor Larry Sabato (a name familiar to viewers of public affairs programs). If the presentation is sometimes off the wall, the actual material is very solid, and even then it comes with disclaimer that it is intended as a review guide and is not a substitute for attending class. --Robert J. McNamara

The Standard Deviants: American Government 2
Continuing their unusual review course in civics, the Standard Deviants, a group of ebullient and youthful performers, forge ahead to explain via skits and various performance routines the venerable institutions of American democracy. This video begins with an explanation of the legislative branch, covering its history, powers, and the procedures by which it operates. The roles played by the Speaker of the House and other central figures are portrayed with purposely weird computer graphics and skits (complete with a congressional whip wielding, of course, a bullwhip). The powers of the president and the executive branch are also covered in detail, and an in-depth review of the judicial branch and its workings concludes the lessons. The approach to the material is never solemn and at times verges on the bizarre, and this won't be to everyone's liking. However, the academic advisers to this production have ensured that the material itself is solid, and it should be noted that the attempts at comedy are designed as mnemonic devices on the principle that something presented in an off-the-wall manner is easier to remember than the boring lectures that students endure and forget. --Robert J. McNamara

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