The requirements of a 21st century society are described particularly as they relate to the needs of individuals. Developmental theories are compared and reviewed in light of educational practice and goals. Assumptions regarding mankind's needs for inquiry are reflected in the processes of the human mind. The pathways are described through which cognitive processes are developed in students. This summary paints a portrait of humans as natural innovators deriving much of their meaning in life from solutions to challenges. The literature, by comparing the innovative needs of society with natural inquisitiveness in individuals, makes a compelling case necessitating reform in public instructional practice. With this in mind, the research here calls on practitioners in education to embrace the natural workings of the human mind through inquiry-based curricula in order to align goals with the future needs of society and the fundamental purpose innate in the human brain.


Daria P. Dona

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)


Educational Studies: K-12 and Secondary Programs



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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