Series: Asia Society Deeper Learning

SAGE: A Framework for Project-Based Learning
Lesson Objective: Use the acronym SAGE to deepen student learning
All Grades / All Subjects / Planning

Thought starters

  1. What is SAGE?
  2. Reflect on one of your own lessons: how might you use SAGE to help students learn more deeply?
  3. In what ways does project-based learning lend itself to deeper learning and global competence?
Why is it that too many educator go along to get along? Many of these ideas are theories that do not work unless students have reached basic skills mastery. Students of color in particular are being exploited by these so-called innovative strategies. Our students are leaving high school not knowing how to calculate in their heads 8 x 7 or read the word "elusive" in a text and know the meaning of it. They barely get in community college, must then take remedial courses in skills they should have mastered in grade school, but instead of teaching them these skills in high school, they engage in SAGE and are under the delusion that they are so worldly. In the end, we have de-educated these students.
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Including global significance in a lesson help students to gain knowledge of the world around them. SAGE offers great opportunities for student ownership of their work.
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Providing that safe environment for the students is a key factor in the success of implementing project-based learning. The students can talk more freely about what they think and feel. Great class!
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I am thinking about different ways I can incorporate SAGE into my training for next year. Great way to improve student engagement by giving them a voice in class. Very interesting, thanks!
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  • SAGE: A Framework for Project-Based Learning Transcript

    Narrator: When we’re working with teachers, one of the frameworks that we use, particularly when

    SAGE: A Framework for Project-Based Learning Transcript

    Narrator: When we’re working with teachers, one of the frameworks that we use, particularly when they’re thinking about creating project-based learning opportunities, is this phrase we used called SAGE. SAGE is a heuristic that we use to explain four things.

    Teacher: What were the confusing points? What were the strong points?

    Narrator: The first is that students have choice. The S stands for student choice.

    Teacher: Okay. This morning, we have the last three montages.

    Narrator: In this case where the students were presenting their video montage, it was a perfect example of students having to choose a theme, choose a topic.

    Student: What do you guys think our claim is?

    Student: I don’t know. I think your claim is kind of confusing for me.

    Narrator: In that case, students had to think about in what ways they were going to communicate to an audience about their theme, making a claim, and then be able to back it up with evidence.

    Teacher: Why did you put in the images of the Native American women?

    Student: In our community, they have taken that step. They have progressed for us.

    Student: My passion for it is what drove me to continue.

    Narrator: The second part, A, is for authenticity, that there’s an authentic audience and purpose for the work.

    Student: My first passage was with Project Cure, which is a nonprofit organization. What started me on that was the earthquake in Haiti.

    Narrator: In other words, as an adult, there are certain things that I am expected to do in my job, and so we want students to be able to do those same types of tasks as students to get them thinking about those types of mindsets.

    Student: We wanna empower the community take action.

    Narrator: The G stands for global significance.

    Student: We think every person plays a critical role in bringing a true end to modern day slavery. It’s happening in every country, and it’s happening here in our own city.

    Narrator: Regardless of what subject I teach, I want to try to bring in global issues and topics to my curriculum.

    Student: I wanna start with welcoming my committee.

    Narrator: The last part, E, is for exhibition, exhibition to an authentic audience.

    Student: It definitely changed my life and it moved me, in a way, because I learned so many things about myself.

    Narrator: Too often, we ask students to create work or to demonstrate their learning, and they only do it for their teacher. The truth is, if they can do it for a broader audience, whether it’s their classmates or the school as a whole, this idea of exhibition to an external audience is not only a motivator, but it also gives them a greater purpose for their work.

    Teacher: I wanna talk about your ability to recognize perspectives.

    Narrator: I think when students feel safe, where they feel like their voice maters, I think great things happen. I think that level of engagement goes up when everyone knows that it’s a safe space for me to contribute, to ask questions, and to explore.

    [End of Audio]

School Details

Denver Center For International Studies
574 West 6th Avenue
Denver CO 80204
Population: 739

Data Provided By:



Brandon Wiley


Teaching Practice

Project-based Learning, PBL, Projects, Engagement

Teaching Practice

All Grades/ All Subjects/ Culture

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Culture

TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement