#56 – Megan Power on Creating a New Experience of Learning

Given the opportunity to start a new community public school from scratch, what would you build? What process would you employ? And if you really wanted to create something really different, how would you convince parents that really different is not something their kids need but also something they should want?

Those questions and more are the core of this fascinating conversation with Megan Power, co-founder and designer of Design 39 Campus, a four-year old public K-8 school in the Poway, California Unified School District. As you’ll hear, Design 39 is not a different school on the edges. It’s different through and through. Megan focuses on the very intentional and deliberate process that she and her team used to bring the school into existence, and she talks at length about how to change the mindsets of both students and parents when it comes to what the classroom and school experience should look like.

Megan has been in education for 17 years, and spent the last year as a Campus Teacher Ambassador Fellow for the US Department of Education. She was recently selected as one of 20 to Watch by the National School Board Association with the purpose of identifying emerging leaders that will help shape the national education conversation for the next 20 years. She was also selected the 2009 Time Warner Cable National Teacher of the Year.


Design39 Campus

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Will Richardson

Co-founder of Modernlearners.com and Change School. Author, speaker, instigator, surfcaster, husband, and father to two amazing young adults.


  1. Excellent podcast as an exemplar of some excellent first steps as to what schools can do to support the 21 st Century learners.

  2. This is a very good case study that many others can learn from. During the podcast one can hear how the system is changing and this is important for us to learn that change is in of itself a process and that all components of a redesign are addressed. It took the school 5 years to get to this stage so how long is it going to take our learning communities to catch up to this so we are not leaving students behind every day. While it is important to see the wonderful architecture that they were able to afford, the change can take place in older designs when the thinking is transformational and the tradition is not constantly tugging us backwards to our comfort zones.

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