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Eukaryon

Dr. Naomi Wentworth: An Amazing “Eye”-bility to Teach Statistics

Erica Saldana
Lake Forest College
Lake Forest, Illinois 60045

Dr. Naomi Wentworth’s knowledge of various psychological concepts is evident in the fact that she is involved with multiple areas of study. These areas include studies of perception and eye movement (she even has an eye tracker in her lab, here at Lake Forest College, that lets her research assistants learn how to study perception and how to follow eye movements), as well as perceptual-cognitive development in infants. She also focuses on studying program evaluation and institutional research; her knowledge in both fields is evident in the fact that she teaches Research Methods and Statistics 221 and 222. Her Research Methods and Statistics classes have a lot to do with learning the basics of institutional research. They also have much to do with learning the methods of research and help to prepare students by teaching them how to create a research proposal – a skill which is important for anyone who plans to take other research-based classes or who plans to conduct research for a career. In her examples of various research techniques, she talks about the experiments she has done regarding perceptual-cognitive development in infants. It is quite fascinating! I am in her Research Methods and Statistics 222 class right now, and I truly enjoy learning about all the various forms of research one can do after graduating. She makes sure that when you leave class, you have no questions about what is asked of you for any assignment.

In order to get a more in-depth and well-rounded look into how Dr. Wentworth’s classes operate, I had to get interviews from both a former and a current student of hers. Both students had such wonderful things to say about her. When asked about her teaching style, her former student, Zoe Walts ’21, said, “I thought her teaching style was generally very hands on and interactive.” I have experienced this as a student of hers as well, such as when she would have us do our own experiments in class to make sense of the complicated statistics vocabulary being taught. Zoe also said that, “she incorporates a lot of examples and activities into the lessons.” Dr. Wentworth always makes sure that her students have many examples to go off when they are doing our homework, so it’s not nearly as much work as it would be otherwise. As we can see from Zoe’s personal account, Dr. Wentworth truly strives to make sure that her students fully grasp the concepts that she teaches in class. 

When asked about something that she has learned from PSYCH 221 that has helped her in PSYCH 222, Blakely Drake ’21, said, “[one] thing that PYSC 221 taught me is how to put together a decent proposal so not as much time has to go into fixing it for the final report.” Not only does Dr. Wentworth want her students to fully understand the concepts, but she wants to try to keep them from doing unnecessary extra work. She teaches her students how to make an exceptional proposal; this way it is easier for them to create the final report. From my own personal account of being in Dr. Wentworth’s class both last semester and this semester, I would have to agree with Zoe and Blakely: Dr. Wentworth always makes sure her students feel confident going into the exam, even if that means going over a concept multiple times or holding a study session. 

To reiterate, as can be seen from Zoe’s, Blakely’s, and my account, it is clear that even though Dr. Wentworth teaches challenging classes, she really wants to make sure that her students fully grasp the concepts she teaches – and our experiences are just a few examples of how she accomplishes this! Furthermore, Dr. Wentworth never wants her students to go into an exam confused or unsure about something – a mark of an effective and caring professor. This is all because she truly is extremely knowledgeable in all her various areas of study. Dr. Wentworth is someone who can take a complex concept and makes it something that everyone can understand!

Disclaimer

Eukaryon is published by students at Lake Forest College, who are solely responsible for its content. The views expressed in Eukaryon do not necessarily reflect those of the College.

Articles published within Eukaryon should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.