Christine Cushing was the master chef on the Life Network show Dish-It-Out and now on Christine Cusing Live on the Food Network. She came to my shop to give me a lesson about knives.
There are only two classes of knives in the kitchen: serrated (with teeth) and straight.
In the first photo, you see Christine whaling away with her knife on a "Steel" to keep the edge sharp. How she manages to not cut off her entire left hand, I can't figure out. In the second photo, she shows the "beginner" way, that appears to me to be much less suicidal.
For cutting boards, Christine tells us that wood is better than plastic, less porous (!) and harbors fewer bacteria. Plus wood can be scraped down for a fresh surface.
Then I got Christine to show me some of the tricks of actually slicing food with the different knives, but you will have to catch a re-run for that, or tune in to Christine Cushing Live on the Food Network.