Describe the original CGI study.
Fennema: It was a huge study; 20 teachers, and they came to a workshop with us, and we had a lot of videos about how kids solve problems. So we worked with those, and we worked with the teachers, and at the end of that time, we found some preschool children, some 5-year-olds, that they could go out and try this on. Now, keep in mind, these were skilled teachers, and they went out and they were so scared. I have never sent a bunch of teachers out to do something they just didn’t think they could do it. Well, 2 hours later they came back, and a metamorphosis had occurred. They were so bubbly: “It worked! It worked!” So anyhow, then they became more convinced. Well, we sent that group of teachers, with not much more instruction than that, into their first-grade classrooms, and then we had a control group in first-grade classrooms. And since Tom and I were—and we are—researchers that believe that research tells us something, we didn’t go into those 20 classrooms for the rest of the whole school year. Now, we had people going into those classrooms, observing them. And finally at the end of the year, after all the data had been collected from both groups, Tom and I decided that we should go out and visit our classrooms at least. I’ve never seen two such startled researchers in my life. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. We thought we’d see a little bit of change; there’d be a couple of problems and two or three kids would respond. You know these children were learning mathematics. They were doing mathematics, and the teachers were doing it with them. In those 20 classrooms, all of them were doing something. Now some were going to do it better and some worse. So at the end of that summer, Tom and I said, “We’ve got something here, so let’s hope the data confirm it.” And sure enough, when we looked at the achievement of the kids, the kids in the experimental classrooms had done about as well on facts, so chalk one up for accountability. [Laughter.] And their problem-solving skills were so far beyond the other kids. So we were convinced. So that was the start of CGI. And at that point, we decided we would never write a manual for how to teach teachers how to teach CGI. Because teachers are cognitive beings just like children are, and they learn as they go along and as they work with what they need to work with, which is children. So, that is the real start of CGI. Tom and I continued to work together for 15 years on various phases after that.