In a message dated 96-06-14 12:15:44 EDT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Arthur Howard) writes:
> For instance, in our decimal world, who actually >needs to divide fractions, as fractions, and get a fractional answer? > >
I believe that there are at least 2 or 3 very important reasons to teach fractions. 1) As a concrete basis for the algebraic manipulation of variables. Multiplying by the reciprocal equals 1 Multiplication by 1 leaves the original number unchanged The need to find a common denominator when adding fractions. How to simplify expressions by cancelling common factors in both the numerator and the denominator. 2) The construction trade in the United States is still firmly committed to the foot-inch measurement system. Students need to be able to read a ruler! 3) Much of scientific information is written using variables, and left in fractional form until the last step when numbers are substituted.