The purpose of social studies is to help young people recognize their roles as participants in a democratic society and global community and to act responsibly to improve the human condition. Through acquiring knowledge, developing skills and examining values, students begin to understand themselves as individuals, family members, consumers and citizens. Social studies focuses on the dynamics of the human condition, confronting students with the spectrum of human actions and emotions. It is directly concerned with the study of cultures and civilizations, the effect of change, the development of critical thinking, the improvement of society through reflection and enlightened participation, and the broadening of students' intellectual horizons. Finally, social studies promotes an awareness and appreciation of a culturally-mixed society in an interdependent world.