Well, I hope I don't step on any toes, but here goes nothing. (I claim immunity by emphasizing that I'm looking at this from a British training point of view, of course.
I've run across people who seem to have been taught how
to install a circuit, test a component, etc., but they don't seem to know why
they're doing it. In other words, they don't seem to have been taught the underlying basic theory behind the practice.
As mentioned above, we have guys who wire an industrial plant for a living, but they can't figure out how to add a pair of foglights to their car.
I'm firmly of the opinion that we should always try to understand why
we are doing something instead of just accepting that "that's the way it's done."
A good, thorough knowledge of the basics makes it so much easier to apply those basic concepts to any new situation.
[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 06-16-2002).]