Attempts to teach intellectual skills directly inevitably fail, because each child must develop them in his or her own way, through his or her own self-initiated activities. But adults can influence that development through the environments they provide. Children growing up in a literate and numerate environment, for example—such as an environment in which they are often read to and see others read, in which they play games that involve numbers, in which things are measured and measures have meaning—will acquire, in their own ways, understandings of the purposes of reading and the basic meaning and purposes of numbers.
Worth a read. With research like this how can anyone argue in favor of the educational model promulgated by government schools for the last 100 years?
Via Psychology Today