Co-creation case study:

(Video source:, via Youtube)

As a new player in the education market, Blink Educatie has the ambition to reinvent teaching methods so that more children will be inspired to learn. The first project bringing this ambition to life was developing a method for primary school English. In the summer of 2010 Jorien Castelein, Blink’s CEO, created an innovation team consisting of Arjan Polhuijs (Flare Innovation), Maarten Pieters (then also Flare Innovation) and Stefanie Jansen (independent kids insight specialist), of which the latter two are now joined in TheCoCreators.

Where educational publishers usually start the development of a new method with teachers’ needs, Blink wanted children’s motivation at the core of their innovation. This is why we initially spent a lot of time with children to find out what role the English language plays in their lives, what their motives and barriers are to learn English, and in which ways they currently learn English.

Soon we discovered that music is a common thread: kids want to learn English to understand popular music, while at the same time they are learning English through this music. The schoolteacher and the English method used at school only played a subordinate role. “Our teacher’s English really isn’t that good,” was a frequently heard comment.

The translation of this insight into an activating teaching method based on popular English music, with an inspiring, coaching role for the teacher, was relatively quickly made. Although the first, in 2010 by Flare developed concept version did not meet educationally tested principles, children and teachers responded with such unequivocal enthusiasm that Blink decided to invest.

A team of experts was formed and in co-creation with children and teachers in the classroom, came to a well-reasoned, unprecedented ‘swinging’ teaching method, based entirely on learning for and through music.

Soon after was introduced in 2011 it proved the most successful launch of a new teaching method in recent years. The increase in sales of 50% since its introduction is very impressive compared to the 20% market standard. This is especially so because being a new, unknown and small educational publishing company, they managed to achieve a substantial share in an already saturated and conservative market.

In a customer satisfaction survey (2012), 90% of teachers said that the method meets or exceeds their expectation. Moreover, research shows that yields learning effects unparalleled by other methods.


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