Based on the ‘triple-code’ theory, the present study provided a comprehensive examination of the development of number processing and calculation abilities of Chinese primary school students. 310 children from grade 1 to grade 4 were assessed using the battery of number processing and calculation tests (NUCALC-R (Protocol)), covering tests of the Verbal, Visual Arabic and Analogue Magnitude Modules of the numerical abilities. The results showed that the three modules had different developmental trajectories from grade 1 to grade 4: the Verbal Module and Analog Module reached a plateau in grade 3, but the Visual Arabic Module improved gradually across the four grades. In addition, the subtests within each module also showed different developmental trajectories, demonstrating a rich profile of how the specific ways of representing and manipulating the numerals in a given module develop in the early school years.
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