Lloyd Dunn and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test

Lloyd Dunn History

Lloyd Dunn, developer of Peabody Language Development Kits.



Lloyd Dunn (1917-2006) was one of the "scholars with a social conscience" who founded the Kennedy Center in 1965. He was director of Peabody's Mental Retardation Research Training Program, the first doctoral program in the nation for training researchers in this field. Dunn crafted research and teacher education programs at Peabody College, first as coordinator of special education, later as the first director of the Institute on Mental Retardation and Intellectual Development (IMRID). The keystone institute of the Kennedy Center, IMRID was the longest continuously funded program project and made major contributions to behavioral research in intellectual disabilities. These programs provided the base for Peabody College's current ranking as the best place in the nation for training special educators. Dunn also served on President Kennedy's Panel on Mental Retardation and was instrumental in helping to obtain passage of early federal legislation benefiting persons with disabilities.

Lloyd Dunn and his wife Leota collaborated on a number of assessment and instructional devices first published by the American Guidance Service in the 1950s and 60s: the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), Peabody Individual Achievement Test, Peabody Language Development Kits, and Peabody Early Experience Kits. Lloyd Dunn continued to be involved with the development of newer editions of these publications. The second chair to be endowed at Peabody College was established by Lloyd and Leota Dunn and their family.

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center History Links