Date of Award

Summer 5-29-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership (Ed.D)


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Ivan. Jorrin Abellan

Committee Chair

Dr. Desha Wiliams

Second Committee Member

Dr. Kimberly Gray


This study focused on the teaching technique known as cognitively guided instruction (CGI), through which teachers explore the individual learning styles of their students and use the information they gather to teach more complex concepts more effectively. The focus of this study was on 10 elementary mathematics teachers, with the goal of gaining a deeper understanding of the reasons they are making limited use of CGI techniques in their classrooms. The study used interviews and classroom observations of the 10 participants to identify the factors influencing their willingness or reluctance to apply CGI techniques to their instructional practices. The study gathered data regarding the factors that encouraged the use of CGI in participants’ classrooms and regarding the factors that created their resistance to doing so or that caused a lack of confidence in CGI strategies.

Findings identified positive results from CGI techniques, with students showing learning levels beyond their grades and developing creative problem-solving techniques that were beneficial for the current curriculum and for future grade levels as well. Findings also identified the most significant deterrent for CGI use as being the time investment required to carry out the lessons or exercises in ways that incorporated CGI practices.

This study identified the value of CGI techniques and revealed the need to adapt and evolve teaching methods in line with the method. The study noted the challenges involved with CGI implementation but showed that the positive results outweigh those issues. The study findings provide a compelling case for CGI as an approach that enhanced student problem solving, unlocks creative thinking, encourages more active student involvement in solving problems and provides collective encouragement and learning for students, teachers, and administrators.