Malone, S., Heron-Delaney, M., Burgoyne, K. & Hulme, C. (2019). Learning correspondences between magnitudes, symbols and words: Evidence for a triple code model of arithmetic development. Cognition,187R. Martin, M. Tsakiris, J. Wagemans. 1-9. Netherlands: Elsevier BV. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2018.11.016
According to the Triple Code Model, early arithmetic development depends on learning the mappings between non-verbal representations of magnitude (quantity) and symbolic verbal (number words) and visual (Arabic numerals) representations of number. We examined this hypothesis in a sample of 166 4- to 7-year old children. Children completed 4 paired-associate learning tasks and a broad range of measures assessing early numerical (symbolic and non-symbolic magnitude comparison, digit writing, arithmetic) and reading skills (letter-sound knowledge, phoneme awareness, rapid automatized naming, word reading). A path model showed that paired-associate learning tasks involving mapping magnitudes onto verbal or visual stimuli predicted arithmetic performance over and above other well-established predictors. This relationship was specific to arithmetic and, consistent with the Triple Code Model, highlights that mapping between non-symbolic magnitude representations and the corresponding symbolic forms (verbal and visual) is important to the development of arithmetic skills.
Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education
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