To fulfill a generational promise for a living earth, educators today have the opportunity to cultivate a “new human” nourished with a potential for transformation by expanding and contributing to a collective consciousness. Between 1927-1955, geochemist Vladimir Vernadsky, mathematician, Édouarde Le Roy, and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1947), proposed the potential impact of a greater collective consciousness gained through entwining geological, biological, and technological activities into the rise of a what Chardin described in Chapter 10 of his essay collection The Future of Man, as a noosphere… “an envelope of thinking substance.” Reminding teacher educators of the vital responsibility to promote conditions that prepare adult students with the skills to amplify potentiality, Italian scientist, educator, and revolutionary, Maria Montessori recognized, “In these times, more than ever before, our hope is that education will offer an aid to better the condition of the world.” It is through exploring the root causes of lifelong learning and uncovering the transcendent tools of awe and wonder, that I have come to understand the human potential for transformation… As a teacher-educator responsible for sparking awe and wonder in adult learners so that they too will spark awe and wonder in their students, I turned my attention to exploring the function of what I suspect is a game-changing element in adult education. What I found is that to be in a state of awe is a key to transcendence, and it is woven into the story of the universe as part of the fabric of our evolutionary spirit. I have come to the conclusion that when noted and nurtured, awe can become a change agent in a liberating educational model.
Chardin, P.T. (1947) The Future of Man
Montessori. M. (2019) The 1946 London lectures