That all depends on how it is taught - if the instructor is an insecure asshole who feels a need to claim superiority based on use of a specific process, then it doesn't matter if they're teaching digital or film - they'll be teaching a "my way or the highway" approach to image-making. The point, in my perspective, of starting with film is to provide not only good fundamental skills, but also historical perspective - so many tools in Photoshop or other image editing programs have their roots in wet darkroom/traditional graphic arts studio practices. What you're talking about is image-making without regard to process, and when you are speaking of image-making, I agree that making a good image has less to do with the craft employed to produce it than it does having the vision to percieve and/or invent the image in the first place. However, I thought this discussion was about how to learn the craft of photography. Learning the CRAFT of photography is very much about building technical skills to execute the image-maker's vision. And lets face it - if you don't have the technical chops to execute your vision, we won't know if your end result executes your vision or not, and you certainly won't be able to repeat your execution. I'm not saying that every photographic image has to be an f64/Ansel Adams, full tonal-range, maximum acutance image to be artistically successful. But if your goal is to produce images of beer-laden vomit (or even USING beer-laden vomit as a developer), you need to know HOW the beer-laden vomit interacts with your other media so you can do it again and get a controlled variation of the original result. That's true regardless of whether you're puking on silver-gelatin paper or on an inkjet print.
Originally Posted by jnanian