A constant learning process is that, which ensures the learner to use minimum time while getting the maximum knowledge. The teacher or tutor of the student in question must apply the best approach to ensure this happens. Two philosophies have been utilized in an attempt to achieve this goal. They use explicit and constructivist approaches. The Explicit method is identified with its principle of giving delicate details and engaging students intellectually. The Constructivist approach is defined the involvement of students by engaging them with the environment. The comparison of the two philosophies and approaches has always resulted into a debate which theory is the best and more applicable. This allows both the learner and the tutor to determine which one suits best to a study.

The Explicit Approach

The explicit approach involves a student intellectually by giving the basics and most brilliant ideas about a specific area. The approach involves giving knowledge in stages to allow for the time for the mind to be stimulated. First of all the tutor shares his knowledge with students, gives them time to digest and understand before initiating the question and answer session (Westwood, 2002). The stages of offering knowledge range from the giving of the most complex ideas before finally putting the basics on as additional information.

The Constructivist Approach

The constructivist approach involves the student with the environment to make whatever the student is learning to be real. It makes the student understand the concept and its applications. The learning in this approach is practice intensive as compared to the explicit which is theory oriented. The student is able to find a practical solution to the challenges offered through a practical means. The trainer guides the learners by applying tangible figures and explaining the context and process involved.

Differences and Similarities

Both approaches have their definite and defined differences and similarities alike. Although they are aimed at giving the student the best knowledge, their differences may be wide. The explicit method as defined uses the question and answer session as the climax of learning. It involves students intellectually intending to stimulate their brain. Students are either expected to answer or ask questions to measure their level of understanding. It is at this point that the teacher determines capacity and understanding of individual students.  Constructivism, on the other hand, involves the students fully, and the engagement to the environment marks the climax. The students are expected to derive their own questions and answers from the engagement and the environment. The tutor acts as a guide, but not as a source of solution ( Bentley and Ebert, 2007).

In explicit learning, students are expected to crack the complex ideas in order to find a sense in the minor ideas. Cracking of the ideas stimulates the brain to try and figure out the idea in a question. Learning in this approach involves engagements in imaginary and as sumptuous environment, which is at times non existent and non tangible. Constructivism, on the other hand, involves facing the real environment and understanding. Students are expected to be innovative and to develop ideas out of the real environment.  The environment is used as the learning environment, and students are expected to be real and realistic. They are expected to come up with real and tangible ideas and solutions (Israel, 2005).

The Explicit Approach

The explicit learning approach involves interaction between the teacher and students in the classroom. It is more about team work and participation. The students actively participate by giving answers to questions and asking on the complex areas. The approach ensures that the students get the finest details on a specific subject. The intellectual approach and engagement ensures that students can use their intellect knowledge to tackle problems.

The approach involves giving the required knowledge in phases and steps that ensure students to get the maximum effect of the idea. It is formulated in such a way that ensures all students to be involved in class activities. The approach allows the teacher to gauge the intellect of an individual student. This allows the teacher move in a speed favorable to all students.

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The explicit approach needs to be taught for a long time through different ages of  learners. This allows the learner to cope and come to terms with new trends in education and learning process. The terms of this type of learning is that the students know what they are taught about. The knowledge  may be real or imaginary when students are expected to speculate. The explicit approach further focuses on the goals and objectives set by the teacher at the end of the lesson (Israel, 2005). The goals are put on focus and principles through out the lesson to maintain standards. The participants in the particular class work to achieve these goals as stipulated in the curriculum set. The approach emphasizes why, how and when issues were given to the students. These factors enable students make use of the lesson and have a clear learning path to achieve the predetermined goals. The teachers’ forehead determines what children want to learn and concentrate on a definite frame work that is followed by  a parallel pattern throughout the learning period. The framework is based on the knowledge, capacity and age of the learners. The framework and requirements of the curriculum develop as the learner develops more skills and general knowledge of the world (Openshaw and Soler, 2007).

The Constructivist Approach

The constructivist approach uses the environment as the laboratory. The approach engages students with the environment allowing them to derive their knowledge and solutions by themselves. The knowledge further allows students to be innovative and creative. The teacher in this case does not occur as a source of knowledge but rather as a guide in getting the knowledge. The knowledge and ideas in these instances are got from tangible facts and in no instance speculations are involved.  The approach has been likened to the natural ways of learning through which people get knowledge from the environment. It is further argued that the learning process is not so much about the teacher, but about observation of the facts. In this type of learning, talents are easily established and developed. The promoters of this approach of learning push for the attaining of pure and trustworthy knowledge, which are not contravened or compromised by personal and scientific opinions

The approach involves experimentation through action and participation observation as the facts unfold and finally the reflection and interpretation in accordance with the process and the outcome. This allows students to get conditional zed knowledge, which they understand and take pride of participation (Israel, 2005).

The argument further suggests that knowledge should not be divided to compartments, but should be given as a whole. This argument seems to discredit the explicit approach, which divides knowledge in compartments for students to grasp each at a time. The constructivism approach, further, works to bring out creativity and innovation out of the students, which is their main purpose.


The comparison of the two learning approaches brings the learner and the teacher to a platform of analysis. In the two approaches, they are the key players who make the learning process complete. The constructivism learning process in its capacity appears and sounds the real learning process as each and every step is reinforced by a practical activity, which gets rid of any doubts, as well as mark areas of reconstruction. In contemporary terms, the explicit approach is more of imaginary learning without proven facts. It depends on knowledge and experience of many different people which at times may be conflicting (Westwood, 2008).

The constructivist approach is further developing a higher standing as compared to the explicit approach if the purpose of the teacher has been analyzed. The teachers’ knowledge may at times be insufficient, thus crippling the whole process. The students in the explicit approach depend on the teacher as the sole source of knowledge making this challenge real. In the constructivist approach, the teacher has the chance to learn more from the student and thus improve their knowledge. The teacher in this case is not the sole source of knowledge but a part of the learning process.

Comparing two approaches, we can conclude that the constructivist approach deals with the real world and makes the solutions offered real and realistic. It is more applicable in the learners’ life as compared to the explicit approach. The explicit approach gives imaginary solutions on imaginary challenges making their palatability lie low (Tuckman and Monetti, 2010).

The explicit approach, however, gives solutions to challenges within and without the immediate environment. The issues learnt here are applicable in a wide perspective as compared to those in the constructivist approach. It entails more knowledge and exposure than the constructivism.

In conclusion, it is evident that the constructivist approach is better  as compared to the explicit approach. This is viewed in its terms to allow for innovation and creation. It also gets credit hence it brings out students` abilities and talents in a better way. 

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