> Would anyone die if kids >learned fractions in middle school when they are probably more >developmentally ready. I know my ten year old daughter would be a happier >camper if this happened.
I, personally, can not imagine how I could possibly discuss division without bringing up the topic of fractions, since they are one and the same.
Personally, I believe that part of the difficulty with learning fractions stems from the fact that they are treated as a separate entity. The connection is often not made between division and fractions. I suspect that this causes some conflict intelectually with students, who intuitively recognize that they are one and the same, but begin to doubt their intuition based on the fact that the instruction they are receiving appears to be implying that they are some thing different than simply another "word" to describe the division.
I do not know how this could be so, but this is how the standard elementary textbooks treat them. I fortunately, or unfortunately, did not learn these math concepts in the US from those old text books, so I am at a loss as to the logic behind this separation approach.