The utilization of transformation toughening has hitherto been restricted to increasing the fracture resistance of poly crystalline ceramic materials. Although a number of investigators have attempted to extend the concept to toughening glasses and glass ceramics with tetragonal zirconia, no successful reports have been published. It is argued that the approaches employed are inevitably limited primarily because they do not take into account the necessity of nucleating the tetragonal-to-monoclinic transformation away from the crack tip itself. By concentrating on the nucleation event and using standard ceramic processing techniques, it has been demonstated that transformation toughening can be used to increase the toughness of glass-ceramic materials, and this approach is illustrated by increasing the fracture toughness of a cordierite glass ceramic. © 1987, Materials Research Society. All rights reserved.