The effects of development on the H&D curve represent a unique aspect of analog photography. I have always promoted understanding of the basic concepts of sensitometery for anyone interested in analog photography.
In a way the Zone system, with its "Black Box" approach is a hinderance to understanding the way film and paper respond to light and development. I thank Phil Davis for taking us "Beyond" the Zone system, but you can go one better by simply guiding exposure and development decisions on basic sensitometric principles: expose for the shadows, develop for the highlights. I think beginners need to work through basic sensitometery to come up with that phrase themselves, rather than just memorizing it or blindly following it.