You don't have to teach young children
immediately now about the inner workings about Linux. If little Ruthie in "Pokey Oaks Kindergarten
School" should be taught Linux
, she should start by being taught the basic commands, shell scripting
and what not.
Linux is definitely not like fire. Fire exists as is. Fire (heat in general) is one singular natural force that does not have a substitute. Computer software has flavors and you can use anything you want, even if it's Microsoft stuff that will break in front of you.
The best part of teaching people how to use Linux is that they are not brainwashed to use Microsoft products on default. If they grow up to be computer newbies, they will not ask about the "paper clip" (unless they use vigor, which will be another story).
Teaching children to use such a powerful operating system is not the same as teaching them "to be liek Jeff K. and be supal33t." You are to instill responsibility and work to them at the same time. You'll have to teach them the idea of the root account later, when they grow up to be 15 years old or what not. If something goes wrong in terms of computer security, shouldn't they have the morals to tell a teacher or the nearest hacker who will help? Wouldn't that child be considered a child genius?
I have asked Jon "Mad Dog" Hall about putting Linux in schools in a conference for Free Software/Open Source software. He said folks in Mexico have made a Linux distribution with programs for schools, and the "Tree of Knowledge" program for the United Nations to bring Linux to schools. Well, I loved this idea. I wondered what happened to it?