Publication Date




Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Teaching and Learning (Education)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Walter G. Secada

Second Committee Member

Ji Shen

Third Committee Member

Robert Schoen

Fourth Committee Member

Soyeon Ahn


This study investigated the effects of a two-year long professional development (PD) program called Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) on teachers’ instructional practices for engaging students in problem-solving in elementary mathematics classrooms. The treatment involved sixteen days of CGI PD across two years. Forty-two and forty-seven teachers’ classrooms were observed and videotaped during first- and second-years, respectively. Videotaped classroom instruction was coded, and the resulting data were analyzed to compare students’ problem-solving opportunities between CGI and non-CGI classrooms. This study found that CGI teachers were more likely (than not), in comparison to non-CGI teachers to provide their students with various problem-solving opportunities by implementing instructional processes such as: posing high-cognitive tasks; posing word problems; implementing task at high-cognitive level; spending time on single problems; allowing students to choose their solution method; providing access to manipulatives; encouraging multiple strategies; giving students time to solve problems; asking students to share their solutions; spending time discussing problem as a whole-class; and listening to student thinking of solutions. The study findings suggest that CGI PD has a large positive effect on teacher instruction of problem-solving. Using present-day statistical methods and investigations conducted in classrooms set in present-day educational context, this study successfully updated a portion of Carpenter, Fennema, Peterson, Chiang and Loef (1989). This study’s findings also extended original findings to include: additional arithmetic topics; second-grade classrooms; additional instructional processes; and additional year of PD implementation, to provide additional opportunities for causal inferences linking CGI to student problem-solving opportunities.


Mathematics Teaching; Classroom Instruction; Cognitively Guided Instruction; Problem Solving

Available for download on Sunday, July 12, 2020