In elementary maths education literature, they distinguish multiple concepts that rational numbers are used to represent: fractions, quotients, ratios, rates, and possibly more. These words seem to be used to refer to the concept, rather than to the number itself per se. For example, when they say "fractions" they are referring to part-whole relationships, and the numbers themselves are rational numbers.
Most high-school and university teachers don't distinguish between all of these though. When we say "fractions", we normally mean simply numbers produced via division.
I myself am not completely sure on the definitions and usages of these words in an elementary education context. For example, I don't know if it would be considered bad to say "Find the rate of change of volume with time and express your answer as a fraction."
My question is twofold:
In the elementary maths education context, what are the definitions of these words, and how are they used?
Is it important or useful to distinguish these words in this way for maths learners, or are they simply words we use to describe the concepts to ourselves in papers etc? - for example, should the word fraction always have a part-whole concept attached to it even when we use it with learners?