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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Education > Child Care > Developing Minds – The Complete Set (WGBH)

Developing Minds – The Complete Set (WGBH)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C-     Episodes: A-



Though released before in separate DVD and VHS volumes, we have never encountered the Developing Minds series developed by Dr. Mel Levine.  The point is to go the long and very, very thorough way in examining causes, reasons and solutions in teaching and helping children learn better.  The idea is that all children, no matter how smart, have anomalies that prevent them from reaching their full potential.  Instead of offering some kind of goofy overly simple hodge-podge formula, the series examines every aspect possible and WGBH Boston Video has issued the complete series in a massive 24-DVD box set certain to meet everyone’s needs.


Whether you have a child with learning problems or you want to improve their learning, the series is practically landmark in what it maps out.  Not every problem can be solved with it, but I was surprised by the intelligence and magnitude this series delivered.  Each 3-dsic case offers a different main topic, with plenty of subtopics.  Alphabetically, they are:


Behavioral Complications

Feelings & Motivations

Getting Organized/Work Habits

Getting Thoughts On Paper

Mastering The Challenge Of Reading

Student Output

Thinking With Numbers




I have encountered and read about alternate such programs that have even been offered in colleges and this one competes very well with those, even improving on some approaches that are limited and even questionable.  This one delivers many answers and ideas that many of the programs out there do not and at a time when education and the school system in this country is a mess, the timing of this massive reissue could not be better.  It runs something like 900 minutes, much of which is rewatchable and of reference quality, so try one of the single volumes (rent it to see if you can) and if you agree and can afford it, you’ll want this whole set.  Libraries and schools across the country should consider it mandatory to add to their libraries.


The 1.33 X 1 image on all discs were shot on professional analog NTSC video and designed for VHS release, as you can hear in the narration.  For that, these transfers look good, though expect limited detail and some smearing despite consistent color.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is simple stereo, but is just fine for an instructional series like this.  The only extras are weblinks and DVD-ROM printable materials for educational and instructional use including 18 companion guidebooks.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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