Talent development

The vision on talent and talent development is discussed on this page. The concept of 'inclusive education' is taken as a starting point in this context.

Click on the image to watch a short video introduction.


Talent development is a starting point linked to the Fontys ICT educational vision and was one of eight themes in the Fontys ICT Ambition Plan 2013-2017.

1. Talent development

Fontys ICT states: 'For anyone who wants to study ICT at associate degree, bachelor's and master's level, Fontys ICT offers a suitable solution for the optimal development and validation of his talents'. By educating more people at different levels and with different qualities, we strive for diversity and customised education, in order to make a maximum contribution to society's needs. On the one hand, this customisation wish is fed by the changing social environment and, on the other hand, by the desire and necessity to develop education that contributes to an inclusive society. Talent oriented education connects to different qualities, learning styles and personalities.

The Trendrede 2014 indicates that the great average is disappearing and thus the expressiveness of general wisdom, rules and protocols: 'We are still experiencing the chaos in which individuals are constantly feeling the exception to some rule. Ultimately, we come to the conclusion that there are no exceptions to the average, because no one is exactly average' (Trendrede 2014, p.10).
Our broad ICT study programmes offer a good basis for flexibilisation of and within the supply.

Talent oriented education embraces diversity and values differences. This also means that we will certainly not group on differences. Talent oriented education requires the flexible combination of existing paths and the development of new paths in response to new educational demands. Talent oriented education also means offering students the opportunity to choose their own path that suits their passion and talent, away from the fixed paths; which, however, are assessed in a uniform manner at the end of the path. In previous experiences with customised classes and pathways we have gained extensive experience in this. When developing talent oriented education, we focus primarily on the current student population and, based on shared characteristics, we make an analysis of which 'educational paths' and customised facilities we already offer and which we want to develop in the coming years. We also analyse how the current study programme fits in with our 'target groups'. In addition, we are looking at ways in which education can be made more appropriate for some specific target groups.

In a nutshell:

  • Future-proof education is talent oriented education;
  • The broad bachelor and the volume of Fontys ICT provide a good basis for flexibility;
  • We do not group on differences, but see if education can be made more appropriate for some groups.
  • Starting point is the talent of each student;
  • Individual learning pathways are assessed in a uniform manner at the end of the ride.

2. Vision on talent and talent development

We use the following definition of talent development:

Everyone has talent. Talent is what you can do better than the other things you can, your talent in action gives you energy.

2.1 What is talent?

Talent is having a natural talent, having a gift and/or being gifted. Talent is about patterns of thinking and acting that are naturally highly developed (Dewulf, 2014, p. 25). It's not about the talent you have compared to other students, but the talent that stands out from your other talents, according to Nienke Meyer at the opening of the academic year at Fontys ICT (2015). And then again: talent alone is not enough to achieve results. Following in the footsteps of Luk Dewulf, we therefore speak of talent in action. Talent in action = talent + behaviour + context (Dewulf, 2014, p. 27). From our definition of talent and talent in action, there are no lazy students!

Which does exist:

  • Students who are not yet aware of their own talent and potential;
  • Students who have not yet developed behaviour that suits their talent;
  • Students who have not yet ended up in a context that is a trigger for the accelerated development of behaviour that a talent develops.

At the start of their studies it is therefore important to pay attention to increasing students' self-knowledge and self-confidence and their ability to self-regulate/self-management to develop behaviour that helps to get talent into action.

2.2 Starting point

The starting point is to work on inclusive education in which each student can develop his unique talents from active challenge and rich influences / impulses from the environment. Doing what you are good at and deploying talent leads to higher involvement and better work results (Dewulf, 2014, p. 19). Inclusive education therefore means making education as suitable as possible for all students and not exclusive for students with a disability or other educational need. The model that we use as a starting point is the DMGT model from Gagné.

2.3 Student+

No matter how talent oriented we organise our education, there will always be students who need (temporary) specialist support in order to be able to develop themselves further and who cannot be offered by the lecturers involved. To this end, Student+ offers many different facilities which are clearly published for students and lecturers in the Student+ menu.

2.4 Talent development from a student perspective

Every student discovers, develops and uses his or her personal talent and reflects this on the professional practice.
The student:

  • Experiences growth-oriented, customised coaching when discovering his talent;
  • Sees investing in his talents as a sustainable investment in himself;
  • Experiences a line during the study programme: from discovery at the start of the study to development and targeted deployment of talent.
  • Where necessary, also supported on an individual gaps basis in order to be able to carry out the study and/or performance of a starter's job;
  • Experiences the possibility of (and support for) teaching material, method, products and content (broadening / deepening) to match his individual talent;
  • By using his talent, he is able to make an optimal contribution within inter- and multidisciplinary project groups (not necessarily linked to semesters in terms of duration);
  • Experiences, if he is not in place within Fontys ICT, support in the flow to an appropriate other study programme (whether or not the same level) or work.

Every student is meant to be: students from all study routes within the full-time study programmes in Dutch and English and the Education for Professionals (OvP).

2.5 Talent development from a lecturer's perspective

Each colleague uses his or her personal talent and expertise as much as possible to help students and colleagues get the best out of themselves. Every employee:

  • Knows what we mean within Fontys ICT by talent oriented education and talent oriented working;
  • Recognises the situations in which personal talents can be used and the situations in which others can be involved;
  • Develops himself/herself in a talent oriented way and thus has insight into the trajectory that the student goes through.

Besides, the lecturer:

  • Motivates students and offers them space and safety for learning, research and targeted talent oriented experimentation;
  • Alternates in daily practice (technical) substantive feedback with feedback on professional development and helps each student to keep focus on talent development;
  • Designs flexible, individual, future-oriented education with room for experimentation in line with professional practice;
  • Supported by fine examples in the field of talent-oriented education, knowledge of talent-oriented education development and implementation.

3. Responsibilities

Keeping focus on talent development in education is the responsibility of the educational specialist team, but:

  • The development and implementation of talent oriented education we do together through targeted experimentation and (informal) sharing of experiences Fontys ICT wide.
  • Our People Managers and HR colleagues encourage us to to be talent orienteded ourselves whenever possible, and they ensure that new employees are informed about our educational vision and talent-oriented education.

4. Getting started with talent development

For new colleagues, we have the following suggestions:

From each educational team and from the team of educational specialists colleagues have been involved in the introduction of talent development during the project period of the Fontys ICT 2013-2017 Ambition Plan.

5. References

  • Dewulf, L. (2014). Ik kies voor mijn talent. Culemborg: Van Duuren Psychologie.
  • Gagné, F. (2004). Transforming gifts into talents: The DMGT as a developmental theory. In: High Ability Studies 15(2). p. 119-147.
  • Trendrede 2014, published on: Trendrede.nl.
  • Thunissen, M. (2016). De dynamiek en veelzijdigheid van talentontwikkeling, published on: www.researchgate.net (Public lecture).