'Collaborative learning activities are structured tasks that are designed to be tackled by groups of pupils. They are often set up as problems relating to sorting and organising information. The purpose of these activities is to oblige the pupils to explore and understand the nature of the subject content by encouraging them to think and talk together. In this way pupils are supported in activating their existing knowledge and experience and in making links with the new knowledge they are acquiring.
Collaborative learning activities encourage pupils to:
(Collaborative Learning in the Classroom, January 2005, Steve Cooke, City of Nottingham Education Department)
Given the above definition of collaborative learning, it would seem logical to infer that CAME is a form of collaborative learning rooted in mathematical understanding. However, it is also much more than that. The careful construction of the lessons allows students to work through logical mathematical strands in a way that enables the teacher to see and unpick misconceptions - what one could call double-loop learning. It also allows students to access the lesson at various different levels of cognitive challenge, unlike collaborative learning activities where the challenge is uniform to all members of the group.