The understanding by design place out a conceptual framework that guides the instructional designers and it mostly befits the academic community. The design is based on the six facets of understanding. The six facets of understanding include explanation, interpretation, application, having perspective, empathizing, and having self-knowledge. Understanding is from the teacher’s point of view and the facet arise when the students are provided with a well articulated and justifiable theory and provide answers to “the why”, “what” and “the how”. This requires thorough assessments and assignments given to students to provide explanation and solid understanding to students. From the student point of view, the facet helps in revealing understanding through the performance that plainly and instructively offers explanation on how things work their implication, where the connection exists and reason for the happenings.
Interpretation generally provides meanings, translations, the stories and the details from reading between the lines. The interpretation gives students the essential stories to enable students understand what the things are without explanation. At this facet, we see the appreciation of the fact that stories both enlighten and engage and this enables them to seek meaning instead of seeing the scattered facts about abstract ideas.
The application helps in putting the knowledge into the appropriate context and thus helps in developing the students ability in pursuing the knowledge by being involved in thinking and seeking actions that are necessary to address the needs in any given situation. The perspective helps students in looking at things from a different point of view and generally empowers them to criticize things.Empathy enables students to walk in another person`s shoes and this enables them to appreciate and find value in what others may find unbelievable, unfamiliar or strange.
Self knowledge entails the ability to knowing oneself or having wisdom and being aware of prejudice. This concept demands that the students to be able to self consciously query their basic understanding so that they are able to advance them. This is usually attained by designing programs that encompass self reflection and the intellectual preconceptions in the implicit beliefs.