Awe in Education

Creating Learning Environments that Inspire, Motivate, and Heal

  • Venue: Online
  • Price: $129; sliding scale available

"Wow! Amazing! Incredible!" What teacher doesn’t love to hear these awe-inspired words from students? Not only does awe foster curiosity and learning, it also enhances motivation, improves well-being, and connects students (and all of us) to greater purpose and meaning.

Awe in Education: Creating Learning Environments that Inspire, Motivate, and Heal is our new online course designed to help you create a more “awesome” learning environment. Learn the science of awe, discover the “eight wonders” of awe across time and culture, and find practical strategies to foster more joyful exploration, engagement, and connectedness in the classroom.

This course is for anyone interested in inspiring and supporting our next generation along with fostering the well-being of educators—classroom teachers and college professors, homeschooling parents, school principals, higher education administrators, school mental health professionals, SEL specialists, professional development leaders, spiritual leaders, camp counselors, piano teachers, nature-led learning advocates, and adults interested in bringing more inspiration to pre-K-college education.

How this course will benefit students, classrooms, schools…and you!

Awe promotes well-being in youth and adults.

  • Young people taking part in a white-water rafting adventure reported greater well-being after their participation. This increase in well-being was predicted by their reports of experiencing greater awe during the rafting adventure, rather than their experience of other positive emotions, like joy or pride.
  • People’s daily ratings of well-being tend to be higher on days when they experience positive awe than on days when they do not report experiencing awe.

Awe fosters a sense of belonging and prosocial behavior.

Awe encourages learning and sharpens our brains.


Course Logistics

Who Should Take This Course?

  • Classroom teachers (preK through higher education), paraeducators, and out-of-school-time providers
  • School mental health professionals and counselors
  • School, district, and college-level administrators
  • Homeschooling communities
  • Educators from nature-led learning, alternative schools, and arts education

Course Cost

The Greater Good Science Center is funded entirely by donations and grants—we do not receive any financial support from the University of California, Berkeley. However, we are able to offer many of our GGSC resources for free because we charge for some of our courses. We do our best to make our courses and events affordable for everyone, but realize that “affordable” can mean vastly different things depending on individual or geographic circumstances. Therefore, we are offering sliding scale rates for this course. 

We do not ask for income verification; we trust that students will be honest about their financial situation. Please be mindful that if you purchase the course at the lower cost when you can truthfully afford the higher cost, you are limiting access to those who truly need the gift of financial flexibility. It also respects the work we do, and our desire to offer many other free resources to educators. 

Please choose the rate that best matches your financial situation. If you are not sure which price level is appropriate for your circumstances, we’ve provided some guidance below:

$179 (Supporter Rate):

This cost reflects the cost of the course, as well as a willingness and ability to support the work and mission of Greater Good in Education and allows those with fewer resources to participate in this course. Please consider paying this rate if you have access to financial security, are able to pay freely for “wants,” or have ample support from your school or organization. Purchase the course at the base rate of $129 and make a donation to GGSC so we can continue to offer our free/affordable resources.

$129 (Base Rate):

This cost reflects the true cost of the course, and is what we would charge all students in the absence of a sliding scale. Please pay this rate if you have access to financial security in the form of income or savings or do not stress about meeting your basic needs. Also, consider whether or not your school or organization can provide financial support for you to access the course. 

$59 (Reduced Rate):

This cost reflects our acknowledgment that there are people whose economic circumstances would prevent them from having access to this course if expected to pay the full amount. Please pay this rate if you do not currently have financial security and/or regularly feel stress over meeting yours or your family’s basic needs. USE THE CODE “AWEREDUCED” AT CHECKOUT TO APPLY THIS RATE.

If the reduced rate is still prohibitive and you need additional support, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at

$25 (Low and Middle Income Countries Rate):

This cost reflects our acknowledgement that the economic levels among countries vary greatly. Please pay this rate if you come from a country recognized by the World Bank as Low or Middle Income. We also recognize that there is great wealth disparity within countries, so if you come from one of these countries, but have the financial means to pay a higher rate, please consider doing so. USE THE CODE “COUNTRIES” AT CHECKOUT TO APPLY THIS RATE.

Acknowledgement to Alexis J. Cunningfolk for guidance around sliding scale fee language.

To encourage groups of educators from the same school or community to attend together, we are also offering a discount for school cohorts. If you are enrolling a group of educators from the same school or community, you can use the code "TOGETHER" to receive $20 off of each enrollment.

You may also reach out to us at to discuss additional payment options.

Course Features

  • 13 modules, approximately 6-10 hours of learning, depending on engagement with supporting materials
  • Videos featuring talks by Dacher Keltner, Ph.D., UC Berkeley psychology professor, co-founder of the Greater Good Science Center, and author of Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life, Born to Be Good and The Power Paradox.
  • Videos featuring interviews with educators on their experience bringing awe into classrooms and staff meetings
  • Over 30 ready-to-use research-based awe practices for students and the adults who work with them
  • Downloadable slides on the science of awe for classroom use or professional development
  • Downloadable awe journal for use by students of all ages and education professionals
  • Discussion board for sharing ideas and reflections on bringing awe into classrooms and schools

Course Curriculum

The course is designed for busy education professionals. Each module has a short video (~4 to 8 minutes long) that provides brief instruction on one aspect of the science of awe, followed by reflection questions. The remainder of the module focuses on practical application, providing numerous resources for incorporating awe into classrooms and schools and allowing course participants to pick and choose what they would like to try.

Course content includes:

  • Module 1: What is awe?
  • Module 2: Why do we need awe?
  • Module 3: Do all students (and teachers) experience awe?
  • Module 4: Awe and young people
  • Module 5: Awe Wonder #1: Transcendence and Meaning
  • Module 6: Awe Wonder #2: Big Ideas/Systems Thinking
  • Module 7: Awe Wonder #3: Nature
  • Module 8: Awe Wonder #4: Life Cycle
  • Module 9: Awe Wonder #5: Moral Beauty
  • Module 10: Awe Wonder #6: Visual Design
  • Module 11: Awe Wonder #7: Collective Effervescence
  • Module 12: Awe Wonder #8: Music
  • Module 13: Bringing awe into classrooms and schools


Course Outcomes

Participants will:

  • Define awe
  • Reflect on the role of awe in your personal and professional life
  • Identify the benefits of awe to self and others, including students
  • Describe how awe can enhance academic learning, motivation, and well-being
  • Use and/or develop resources to foster awe in one’s self, students, and/or colleagues
  • Apply culturally-responsive and trauma-informed lenses to awe in classroom and schools
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    Dacher Keltner, Ph.D.

    Course Instructor

    Dacher Keltner, Ph.D., is the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also the best-selling author of Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your LifeThe Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence, and Born to Be Good, and a co-editor of The Compassionate Instinct. Dacher is the host of the Greater Good Science Center’s award-winning podcast, The Science of Happiness, and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s popular online course of the same name. 


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    Vicki Zakrzewski, Ph.D.

    Course Facilitator

    Vicki Zakrzewski (zahk-shef-skee), Ph.D., is the founding education director of the Greater Good Science Center. As an international thought leader on the science of well-being in education, Vicki writes articles (Greater Good, ASCD’s Educational Leadership, Edutopia, and Huffington Post), gives talks and workshops all over the world, and consults with schools and organizations on how the science of compassion, empathy, gratitude, mindfulness, and other social, emotional, and ethical skills can enhance the professional lives of educators and the lives of their students. More about Vicki Zakrzewski.