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In Germany, we already do this. A function is introduced as an unambiguous mapping in 7th grade (~13 years). While I don't have any data on this, I doubt that German students do significantly better due to this choice of words.


I don't think there's a lot of educational value to fixating on trying to word definitions in exactly the perfect way. Students have trouble with the notion of a function because it's hard. The way they're going to get a handle on it is by struggling with it, encountering the hard parts of the definition, and finding and eliminating their misconceptions ...


I personally use the following terminology: A relation $R \subset A \times B$ is said to be single-valued if $(a,b_1) \in R$ and $(a,b_2) \in R$ implies $b_1 = b_2$. A relation $R \subset A \times B$ is said to be total if for all $a \in A$ there exists $b$ in $B$ with $(a,b) \in R$. A relation which is both single valued and total is a function.

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