I think your disagreement was a misinterpretation of what I meant. You are most certainty correct about that in context of the professional job. We’re problem solvers. Yet remember, the context/source thought of this thread. …
Let’s just throw away the minutia for a second. Method, theory, foundation or what-have-you; if the knowledge is a tool in solving a problem, then it’s a useful thing to know. Yes. Learning to think VFX. Amen. Yet that shall come in time if a true interest is formed. Hence “getting rid of unnecessary bulk” and I’ll add “for now”. What I’m advocating is simply to not overwhelm and scare off those who we are trying to help or show that our profession is an option for who they may be.
( I should note, I speak with the idea that these persons has a base generalist know how. A little code here, a little art there. Results may very, because duh of course they will.)
Example: A Node editor, how to Alpha Blend, how to UV distort, and Photoshop. Make the best fire (or whatever) you can. Then do it again.
I would also hope the teacher understands those things well enough that if there was a problem, that there could possibly be an exploration on what was going on or could be figured out and learned from. If that is truly impossible for VFX, well… I myself am not there yet.
(Side thought: Plato’s Cave.)
You started somewhere, and thus there is a foundation. For all of us in fact, varied as it may be in ultimate style. I’d bet (if I did such) that there are still some universal things regardless of style. Something basic. Your tutorial point is much like your “method” point and I’ve said my piece with such already.
I’ll finish this post with this, that to describe is a skill in linguistics and understanding your craft as much as one can. I get that sometimes we may go “what happens if I do this”, yet if that’s something we need to teach, that person might not be meant for our craft.