Is there a legitimate reason for elementary school to teach division using the obelus symbol (÷) rather than the fractional notation? Or even the forward slash (/) if you must type expressions on a single line?

I see some of those math puzzles on Facebook, and it bugs me because there's an obelus, and nobody who maths for a living uses the obelus.

And many of those Facebook arguments could be quelled with a properly notated fraction, but then that doesn't generate traffic.

Children like pictures. An obelus is a picture of a fraction, you imagine the top dot being replaced with a numerator number, and the bottom dot being replaced with a denominator number. The "/" is a metaphor for that as well, of course, but it's not quite as clear, it has that twist of perspective to it. It's particularly tricky to imagine the left number is somehow above the right number when you're roughly 8.

It is very useful for expressing the idea that division can be treated both like a function/operand where the operator and the divisor mutate the the first term to become a different, lesser tem, but it can also be treated like a representation, where the numerator and denominator are peacefully existing on the appropriate sides of the dividing bar, each playing their role in representing some value, and both values are part of how that value is represented. And use of the obelus emphasizes that these are both actually the same thing. This smooths to transition to algebra.

Your question comes off like "Is there a reason why my neighbor's bratty kid gets tiny little wheels on the rear wheel of his bike so that he can never fall off, doesn't he know Lance Armstrong would

*NEVER* use those?!!?"

I agree using fractional notation is ideal, there's not always room for it, though, and then the obelus is much better than using a slash. Late when you become a professional and need fewer penstrokes and better use of visual space the slash becomes better.