Lucena “Lucy” Miranda is Educating Educators: Inclusive Learning for Teachers

Educating Educators: Inclusive Learning for Teachers

Australia Awards alumna Lucena Miranda champions inclusive learning through Project LAHAT.

Lucena “Lucy” Miranda was a public-school teacher in Batangas City when she first observed the high dropout rates of high schoolers. What began as an observation became an advocacy – Lucy vowed to help keep struggling students in class and support diverse learners with the help of her co-teachers.


Lucy believes that teachers are the key implementers of any program that will improve access and quality of education. She added, “I wanted to help my colleagues find strategies to keep struggling students in class and help them complete at least basic education.”

Through Australia Awards Scholarships, Lucy pursued a Master of Educational Studies at the University of Queensland, where she immersed herself in the state of the art regarding teacher empowerment and supporting diverse learners. “The new learnings that I took from the University of Queensland provided me with a new philosophical understanding of community, network, inquiry, and collaboration.”

Getting the Support of Teachers and Stakeholders

After completing her program in 2018, Lucy came home to the Philippines and worked on her re-entry action plan (REAP) called Project LAHAT (Learners All Here with Able Teachers) – a professional learning program on inclusive education for high school teachers in Batangas City. With the help of her mentors at the Department of Education (DepED), Project LAHAT provides teachers and school leaders opportunities to learn, collaborate, and share their work.

Lucy focused on her core objective: educating educators with programs that are progressive, innovative, and collaborative. “My Australian education allowed me to be more empathic with people and to determine strategies that would help convince them and get their support.”

While she admits that what she set out to do was not easy, she rallied her colleagues towards a common goal. “I am an advocate for change in my organisation and change is a process. Allowing opportunities to unfold and being patient while keeping my focus on the objectives of the project are some of the best takeaways I have had in this project.”

Lucy’s REAP implementation underwent several phases. The first and second phases included a series of online collaborations through digital tools such as Padlet and group chats using Facebook Messenger.

“I started with an orientation on the development of inclusive classroom approaches which was participated by a focal person and all secondary school heads in our Schools Division. Our output is a Padlet where participants posted their understanding of inclusive education, including their  action plans,” Lucy shared.

During the third phase of her REAP implementation, teachers and school heads conducted their own research, which covered topics on implementing inclusive education, approaches to support diverse learners, and inclusive education as a whole system approach.  “Most supervisors began implementing some innovative approaches to practice as a jumpstart for conducting research. Then, some of them were able to present their findings in conferences.”

The last phase of her REAP implementation is  publishing their research as a book funded by the Batangas City Government. “The lack of budget to support the publication prompted me to approach our City Mayor to fund the publication. Now, we are on the editing stage of over 20 manuscripts.”

Filling the Gap

In 2017, before Lucy left for Australia,  supporting teachers in classrooms was not a priority. Now, more and more schools, districts, and divisions are using Project LAHAT to elevate the skills of their own educators. It has also been adopted in DepED Region IV-A and the Central Office.

While educational programmes are  primarily targeted for students, Lucy believes that the same level of support must also be given to the country’s teachers and school leaders.

“Based on the support of the leaders and the responses of the teachers, the project was well-received in the Schools Division. They find their engagement very beneficial for their career development, especially these days when research plays an important role in decisionmaking as well as in the classroom,” said Lucy.

Becoming an Ambassador for Change

After implementing her REAP, Lucy is still passionate about sustaining and expanding the gains of Project LAHAT. “The REAP has just completed a portion of Project LAHAT, which is empowering teachers. Ensuring that all learners have access to educational support is a lifetime REAP that requires change agents like us.”

According to Lucy, her Australian education has transformed her into becoming an active change agent in her community. “My Australian education gave me endless opportunities for growth and development through world-class education and unlimited connections,” she said. “I feel now that I have a responsibility to be an ambassador for change.”