Glossary of education terms (D–F)

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This glossary of education-related terms is based on how they commonly are used in Wikipedia articles. This page contains terms starting with D – F. Select a letter from the table of contents to find terms on other pages.


  • Deemed university: ‘Deemed-to-be-University’, Status of autonomy granted to high performing institutes and departments of various universities in India by Government of India.
  • Distance: (or distance learning) A field of education that focuses on the pedagogy/andragogy, technology, and instructional systems design that is effectively incorporated in delivering education to students who are not physically "on site" to receive their education. Instead, teachers and students may communicate asynchronously (at times of their own choosing) by exchanging printed or electronic media, or through technology that allows them to communicate in real time (synchronously). Distance education courses that require a physical on-site presence for any reason including the taking of examinations is considered to be a hybrid or blended course or program.
  • Dunce: A person incapable of learning. The word is derived from the name of the great schoolman, John Duns Scotus, whose works on logic, theology and philosophy were accepted textbooks in the universities from the 14th century.
  • Dyslexia: Said to be a neurological disorder with biochemical and genetic markers. Dyslexia was originally defined as a difficulty with reading and writing that could not be explained by general intelligence. One diagnostic approach is to compare their ability in areas such as reading and writing to that which would be predicted by his or her general level of intelligence, but some would say that it is not certain that intelligence should be a predictor of reading or writing ability; and also that the causes, effects and treatments of reading disabilities may be similar for all levels of intelligence.


Verificationism is based on a certain kind of mental activity: "verifying" a proposition. The distinctive claim of verificationism is that the result of such verifications is, by definition, truth. That is, truth is reducible to this process of verification.
According to perspectivalism and relativism, a proposition is only true relative to a particular perspective. Roughly, a proposition is true relative to a perspective if and only if it is "accepted" or "endorsed" or "legitimated" somehow by that perspective.
  • Epistemology: (from the Greek words episteme (knowledge) and logos (word/speech)) The branch of philosophy that deals with the nature, origin and scope of knowledge. Historically, it has been one of the most investigated and most debated of all philosophical subjects. Much of this debate has focused on analysing the nature and variety of knowledge and how it relates to similar notions such as truth and belief. Much of this discussion concerns the justification of knowledge claims, that is the grounds on which one can claim to know a particular fact.
  • Exchange student: A student (usually from high school or university) who temporarily goes abroad and lives with a host family in a foreign country, and attends school there. That host family often also sends a child of theirs abroad, usually to the same country as the student they are hosting. In this way, the two students are said to have been "exchanged," essentially temporarily trading countries with each other, although the period of exchange may not necessarily be simultaneous. The main purpose of exchange programs is to increase cultural understanding, both for the student and the people in the host country he/she comes into contact with. Exchanges are often arranged by organizations created for this purpose, called student exchange programs. Youth For Understanding and American Field Service are two examples of these organizations.
  • Experience: Comprises knowledge of or skill in or observation of some thing or some event gained through involvement in or exposure to that thing or event. The history of the word experience aligns it closely with the concept of experiment.
The concept of experience generally refers to know-how or procedural knowledge, rather than propositional knowledge. Philosophers dub knowledge based on experience "empirical knowledge" or "a posteriori knowledge". A person with considerable experience in a certain field can gain a reputation as an expert.


  • Forbidden knowledge: (in contrast to secret knowledge) Used to describe forbidden books or other information to which access is restricted or deprecated for political or religious reasons. Forbidden knowledge is commonly not secret, rather a society or various institutions will use repressive mechanisms to either completely prevent the publication of information they find objectionable or dangerous (censorship), or failing that, to try to reduce the public's trust in such information (propaganda). Public repression can create paradoxical situation where the proscribed information is generally common knowledge but publicly citing it is disallowed.
  • Functional illiteracy: Refers to the inability of an individual to use reading, speaking, writing, and computational skills efficiently in everyday life situations. Unlike an illiterate, a functionally illiterate adult could be able to read and write text in his native language (with a variable degree of grammatical correctness, speed, and style), but is unable like the first, even in his own cultural and linguistic environment, to perform such fundamental tasks as filling out an application for employment, following written instructions, reading a newspaper, reading traffic signs, consulting a dictionary, or understanding a bus schedule.
  • Future Problem Solving Program: (FPSP) An international academic competition. Over 250,000 students internationally participate in the Future Problem Solving program every year. Participating countries include the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Hong Kong and Singapore.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lucas, Sandra Goss; Bernstein, Douglas A. (2004), Teaching Psychology, p. 36