Rubric for the 6 Facets of Understanding

according to

Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Understanding by Design

(For strategies on designing curriculum to develop these facets of understanding, order the book from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development)







Sophisticated: an unusually thorough, elegant, and inventive account (model, theory, or explanation); fully supported, verified, and justified; deep and broad: goes well beyond the information given.

Profound: a powerful and illuminating interpretation and analysis of the importance /meaning/ significance; tells a rich and insightful story: provides a rich history or context; sees deeply and incisively any ironies in the different interpretations.

Masterful: fluent, flexible, and efficient; able to use knowledge and skill and adjust understandings well in novel, diverse, and difficult contexts.

Insightful: a penetrating and novel viewpoint; effectively critiques and encompasses other plausible perspectives; takes a long and dispassionate view of the issues involved.

Mature: disposed and able to see  and feel what others see and feel; unusually open to and willing to seek out the odd, alien, or different.

Wise: deeply aware of the boundaries of one's own and others' understanding; able to recognize his prejudice and projections; has integrity=able and willing to act on what one understands.

In-depth: an atypical and revealing account, going beyond what is obvious or what was explicitly taught; makes subtle connections; well supported by argument and evidence; novel thinking displayed.

Revealing: a nuanced interpretation and analysis of the importance/ meaning/ significance: tells an insightful story; provides a telling history or con text; sees subtle differences, levels, and ironies in diverse interpretations.

Skilled: competent in using knowledge and skill and adapting understandings in a variety of appropriate and demanding contexts.

Thorough: a revealing and coordinated critical view; makes own view more plausible by considering the plausibility of other perspectives; makes apt criticisms, discriminations, and qualifications.

Sensitive: disposed to see and feel what others see and feel; open to the unfamiliar or different.

Circumspect: aware of one's ignorance and that of others; aware of one's prejudices; knows the strengths and limits of one's understanding.

Developed: an account that reflects some in-depth and personalized ideas; the student is making the work her own, going beyond the given—there is supported theory here, but insufficient or inadequate evidence and argument.

Perceptive: a helpful interpretation or analysis of the importance/ meaning/ significance; tells a clear and instructive story; provides a useful history or con- text; sees different levels of interpretation.

Able: able to perform well with knowledge and skill in a few key contexts, with a limited repertoire, flexibility, or adaptability to diverse contexts.

Considered: a reasonably critical and comprehensive look at all points of in the context of one's own; makes clear that there is plausibility to other points of view.

Aware: knows and feels that others see and feel differently; somewhat able to empathize with others; has difficulty making sense of odd or alien views.

Thoughtful: generally aware of what is and is not understood; aware of how prejudice and projection can occur without awareness and shape one's views.

Intuitive: an incomplete account but with apt and insightful ideas; extends and deepens some of what was learned; some "reading between the lines"; account has limited support/ argument/data or sweeping generalizations. There is a theory, but one with limited testing and evidence.

Interpreted: a plausible interpretation or analysis of the importance/ meaning/ signficance; makes sense of a story; provides a history or context.

Apprentice: relies on a limited repertoire of routines; able to perform well in familiar or simple contexts, with perhaps some needed coaching; limited use of personal judgment and responsiveness to specifics of feedback/situation.

Aware: knows of different points of view  and somewhat able to place own view in perspective, but weakness in considering worth of each perspective or critiquing each perspective, especially one's own; uncritical about tacit assumptions.

Developing: has some capacity and self-discipline to "walk in another's shoes, but is still primarily limited to one's own reactions and attitudes: puzzled or put off by different feeling.

Unreflective: generally unaware of one's specific ignorance; generally unaware of how subjective prejudgments color understandings.

Naive: a superficial account; more descriptive than analytical or creative; a fragmentary or sketchy account of facts/ideas or glib generalizations; a black-and-white account less a theory than an unexamined hunch or borrowed idea.

Literal: a simplistic or superficial reading; mechanical translation; a decoding with little or no interpretation; no sense of wider importance or significance; a restatement of what was taught or read.

Novice: can perform only with coaching or relies on highly scripted, singular "plug-in" (algorithmic and mechanical) skills, procedures. or approaches.

Uncritical: unaware of differing points view; prone to overlook or ignore other perspectives; has difficulty imagining other ways of seeing things; prone to egocentric argument and personal criticisms.

Egocentric: has little or no empathy beyond intellectual awareness of others; sees things through own ideas and feelings; ignores or is threatened or puzzled by different feelings, attitudes, or views.

Innocent: completely unaware of the bounds of one's understanding and of the role of projection and prejudice in opinions and attempts to understand.