In mathematics learning, it is important to solve problems. However, it is not easy for students to design and implement an effective problem-solving plan. Therefore, we propose a problem-oriented teaching method based on the existing literature. The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of this problem-oriented teaching method on the learning effectiveness of students. Research subjects were part of two classes that were randomly selected from a public university in China; one was the experimental group that was subjected to the problem-oriented teaching method, and the other was the comparison group that was subjected to the traditional teaching method. In this study, at the beginning and end of the semester, the experimental and control groups were assessed. The results of the empirical analysis show that the problem-oriented teaching method was more effective at improving mathematics achievement and reducing the differences in scores between urban and rural students than traditional teaching methods. Suggestions and implications for teaching are also proposed for mathematics educators and mathematics education researchers: teachers should not only ask questions but also guide students to ask questions.