WWC review of this study

Effects of the first year of a three-year CGI teacher professional development program on grades 3–5 student achievement: A multisite cluster-randomized trial. (Research Report No. 2018-25)

Schoen, R. C., LaVenia, M., & Tazaz, A. M. (2018). Tallahassee, FL: Learning Systems Institute, Florida State University.

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
    , grades

Reviewed: August 2018

At least one finding shows moderate evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards with reservations
General Mathematics Achievement outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

Elementary Mathematics Student Assessment (EMSA)

Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
1,683 students





Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

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In central and northern Florida, 149 third-fifth grade teachers from 32 public schools (drawn from nine school districts) participated in this study.

Study sample

The study report did not include information about proportion of students who were male vs. female, or information about race/ethnicity of the students in the sample. The authors reported that the study sample was typical of public elementary schools in central and northern Florida, however, the authors did not provide the proportion of students who were eligible for free or reduced price lunch, or English language learners, or had individual education plans.

Intervention Group

Teachers in the intervention group participated in a professional development program on how to implement Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) in their classrooms to improve mathematics achievement. In grades 3-5, the CGI program focused on two research-based frameworks which help teachers to elicit children's thinking about the structure of a mathematical problem and strategies on how to solve those problems. Teachers learn how to use information about students' reasoning and developmental process to help them understand fractions, fraction operations, whole number multiplication and division, and base ten concepts for whole numbers and decimals. The professional development program occurred for five consecutive 7-hour days in summer 2015, two consecutive 6-hour days in fall 2015, and two consecutive 6-hour days in winter 2015.

Comparison Group

The comparison group implemented business-as-usual practice during the study period, and were invited to participate in the intervention once the study period was completed.

Support for implementation

The CGI professional development program was delivered by certified CGI instructors under the direction of Dr. Linda Levi, who co-authored the CGI curriculum in several books.


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