This often takes a severe toll on the budding critical faculties of the would be adults. Danny Weil (2000) rightly remarks that, "The business agenda for public schooling views education purely as a domesticating act- one that legitimizes current political and economic realities in the interest of the corporate elite (129). When I reflect on my school days, I strongly tend to agree with Miller (1997) that the current education system represents a highly standardized form of social engineering that is designed to circumvent the democratic ideals and norms (27).
When I left school in 1984, I had the opportunity to study Archaeology at Stirling University. However, I was also offered a job in the Bank (TSB). It was a time when the unemployment rates were soaring high, a time when jobs were at premium and higher education for a working class boy like me was not considered the be all and end all. The social rankings and aspirations of the working class (my father was a labourer and my mother worked in an office) in the eighties were limited to getting a job and one preferably for life. I was 18 years old and though I loved History, the pressure from the home front and the dire need for hard cash was too strong. So I declined the place at Stirling and took the bank job. This was an early example of how I conformed to the popular perceptions and opted for the easy way out. Despite being young and intrinsically ambitious, I made a decision which would apparently make my life more comfortable and subsequently less challenging. In a Brookfieldian context, my schooling simply failed to influence my juvenile decision, considering the fact that the socio-political environment in which I was immersed at that time, gravely restricted my range of options and thus had a deciding influence on the resources that were available to me (ETC: A Review of General Semantics 7). My upbringing and social standing goaded me to aspire for things that were not in my best interest. I choose to hide behind the conventional values and debilitating social perceptions to justify my choices, instead of contemplating on a bold leap forward. In other words, I somehow failed to challenge the assumptions snubbing my growth by unquestioningly bowing before them. There is no denying the fact that critical thinking has more to do with a, "free-wheeling mental speculation where you fly all over the intellectual universe and look at things in novel ways (ETC: A Review of General Semantics 8)." However, the nature of my immediate experiences was such that critical thinking was simply not a part of my cognitive framework. In retrospect I think the predominant socio-economic assumptions of those days impeded my full growth as an individual. Whatever education I received at school, failed in the sense that it did not prepare me to "look critically at previously accepted beliefs", a trait that constitutes the hallmark of the philosophy of noteworthy educationists like Dewey (42). I somehow failed to gauge the ramifications of my decision in a larger social, economic and political context. Unluckily, my locus of control was externally placed and oriented, though there existed faint