Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

About the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Lloyd Dunn and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test

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.

Lloyd Dunn with the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test

Lloyd Dunn, developer of Peabody Language Development Kits.

See Also...

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Links

  • Susan Gray, the Early Training Project, and Head Start
    Susan Gray (1913-1992), a Peabody alumna, was a co-founder of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center.
  • More About Nicholas Hobbs
    Nicholas Hobbs (1915-1983) was a pioneer in the field of child psychology, developing new concepts for treating children with emotional problems and children with intellectual disabilities.
  • Institute on Mental Retardation and Intellectual Development
    The Institute on Mental Retardation and Intellectual Development (IMRID) conducted a broad program of research, but its major emphasis was on the retarded intellectual development associated with socioeconomic deprivation.
  • The History of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center
    The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Education and Human Development was one of twelve original members of a national network of research centers on intellectual and developmental disabilities created by the Kennedy administration in 1963.
  • Demonstration and Research Center for Early Education (DARCEE)
    The Demonstration and Research Center for Early Education (DARCEE) was established in 1966 to serve as a research, training, and demonstration center concerned with improving the educability of young children from low-income homes.

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