Jeff Jenkins' query reminds me of a terminology problem I encountered this year.
I spent some time with a 6th grade class, and we did some things that used division. Apparently, during their entire mathematical education, division hass almost always been written with the "gozinta" sign: _____ 4 ) 12 almost never with the division sign (- with a dot above and below). Orally, it's always asked as "What is 4 divided into 12?", never "What is 12 divided by 4?". The connection between 4 divided into 12 with the fraction 12/4 was never made (though I tried, I didn't have enough time to brainwash them).
I think I now understand some of the confusion my future elementary teachers have with "3 divides 6" and "6 is divisible by 3".
Why don't we teach these other terminologies, notations, and concepts earlier, or is it just the very conservative textbook series this class was using? It seems ridiculous to have to relearn how to write and say division questions at some point (when?) between elementary school and college.
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