Our childhood education is largely governed by our parents and local community and school system. For most people, this has long-term effects. I've taught adult professionals in over 30 states, and I've found that the quality of K-12 education determines the ability to learn for most adults.
However, any person who wants to can make himself or herself an exception to this rule. The key is a commitment to choosing to make one's own way in life, and to learn how to learn. Most people don't realize that learning is, itself, a learnable skill. but it is. Read my hubs on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Self-Leadership and Self-Management for more.