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Education Programming Security

Why We Need To Teach Hacking In High School 124

An anonymous reader writes "Following one of the best descriptions ever of a hacker I've ever seen, Pete Herzog, creator of the 'security testing' (professional hacking) manual OSSTMM outlines compelling reasons why the traits of the hacker should be taught in school to make better students and better people. It starts out with 'Whatever you may have heard about hackers, the truth is they do something really, really well: discover.' and it covers open education, teaching kids to think for themselves, and promoting hacking as a tool for progress." A good read, despite confusing hacker and hacker a bit. I remember getting to set up Debian on a scrap machine in high school, only to have county IT kill the project because of the horrible danger experimentation could have proven to the network...
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Why We Need To Teach Hacking In High School

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27, 2014 @04:04PM (#46361433)

    Every industry wants their industry taught in high school, maybe we should teach things that are useful in general instead of SQL injection or writing Haskell.

  • I don't think so (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRealMindChild ( 743925 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @04:05PM (#46361453) Homepage Journal
    The school admins already have a hard enough time dealing with kids destroying things, both logically and physically. Now you expect them to be on the level enough to be able to stave away actually taught hackers? How much are you willing to pay for this little experiment (both in the admins pay, and the cost of cleaning up the disasters)?
  • by litehacksaur111 ( 2895607 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @04:10PM (#46361477)
    I agree. If anything schools here should be more like schools in Germany where they have strong vocational training programs for people who are not suitable for university education. Also it would be nice if schools worked with students and their parents to steer them towards careers they find interesting instead of trying to force a generic curriculum on everyone.
  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @04:16PM (#46361559)

    ... right? We really need to stop treating all high school students as equals because it hurts all of them.

    The students that are having a hard time mastering literacy need a lot of remedial help. The ones that are doing very well need access to accelerated programs and additional subjects.

    Do NOT group these kids together. You will make sure the kids that are behind learn NOTHING and the kids that are ahead will achieve less.

  • by nucrash ( 549705 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @04:26PM (#46361671)

    I think the biggest thing is that we need to focus on how to make the students learn rather than trying to initiate them into a bunch of subjects they may or may not be interested in. I know students who will never love math, English, history, or science, but if we can pique their curiosity in such a way that they begin to dig for information outside of school, then we have done more for a student than shoving a curriculum down their throat ever will. This is fundamentally what good teachers are for. They take an existing curriculum and try to drive the student to find information out rather than provide the students with answers to questions on a test.

    Hacking is a great skill to have. Is it a life skill? Not really. Having the desire to hack is far more important because the students will seek the knowledge.

  • by Soulskill ( 1459 ) Works for Slashdot on Thursday February 27, 2014 @04:30PM (#46361697)

    It's not the particular language that's important -- once you get beyond the basic syntax of a language, it's really about analyzing a problem and being able to break it down into logically ordered steps, and then manipulating algorithms to do what you want. Those skills are very broadly applicable, and useful whatever a kid's profession ends up being.

  • Re:No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gnick ( 1211984 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @04:36PM (#46361741) Homepage

    I'm educated in Math FAR beyond the point that I think I'll ever need to be. In fact, far beyond the point that anyone outside academia needs to be. And I enjoyed very little of it, but was exceptionally good at it. As far as I'm concerned, studying it wasn't to gain knowledge or mathematical skills, it was more of an exercise in mental flexibility. And, despite what I thought at the time, I don't think that studying literature, history, or religious ed., were complete wastes either.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"