Students are in a Conscious Fog-Julie “Jules” Troyer Ph.D.

by Julie “Jules” Troyer Ph.D.

Jeremiahs’ hands are on his laptop keyboard and he types furiously every time the teacher makes a notable point by saying, “ok class, make sure you take notes on this, it is going to be on the exam.” He desperately wants to get an A in this course and knows he has to do well to keep his scholarship. He knows he is pretty smart, for one thing he has gotten into college, but every time he looks down at the screen of carefully typed notes, the ideas and information just seem to swim in an endless sea of terms that he has no connection to. This is because Jeremiahs’ conscious mind is not connecting the material clearly to the important things in his life.

Many students perform poorly in higher education classes, not because of their intelligence or a lack of motivation, but because they are in a conscious fog. A conscious fog can result from many things but symptoms include: drifting attention, focus on internal dialogue instead of information in the environment, difficulty in processing the meaning of information presented, and poor memory of the learning event. Although, there are many causes of this rather infectious condition, one of the common sources is a lack of understanding of the relevance of WHY something is being learned. Many students are just going through the motions, taking the courses that advisers tell them they must pass in order to attain their degree.

They do not really know why that course, or that lesson, is relevant to life or their future goals and without guidance from a more experienced peer or professor, they will rarely think to even pose the question. Professors often spend so much time just getting the students to understand the terms and concepts that it is often the case that students are never overtly told why they are learning something or how they might be able to use this in everyday life or future careers. The truth is, professors often assume students will make those connections themselves….the truth is this is not a skill that is emphasized in most districts from Kindergarten through High School. How can Educational Consultants assist in creating and assessing programs to ensure this type of meaningful learning occurs? Tune in to the next post in this blog series on Students in a Conscious Fog by Jules Troyer Ph.D. to find out some excellent tips for how to dissolve the haze that is preventing many students from learning effectively.


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