I have been working on refining a pedagogy of awe in the last few years. This approach in some ways goes against the grain of today's notions of student-centered instruction--but only slightly.
A pedagogy of awe has a few important principles.
1) I need to establish my authority (teacher-centered) early in the semester, and only as a means of showing them where they need to arrive by the end of the term.
2) They need to be challenged in group exercises early in the semester that expose their weaknesses. The more they fail early in the semester as a collective class, the better the growth in the end.
3) They must accept that they have failed and that they require training to get them to the point of being able to succeed at a later time.
4) They must practice the skills that they will need to accomplish their victory over defeat at a later time in the semester.
5) They must be held accountable on days when they do not produce work that is up to their potential, but they must also be told when they have exceeded expectations.
6) At the end of the semester, they must be challenged again in the same ways that they failed early on in the semester.
7) When they succeed, they must be able to visualize the journey that they went on to get to the point of success. This is where they experience awe. They are usually transformed by this experience and walk out of my classroom with a greater sense of confidence and a willingness to take on new challenges.