Lloyd Dunn, Author of Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, Dies at 89
Bloomington, Minnesota, April 18 – Pearson Assessments today announced that well-known author Dr. Lloyd Dunn died April 6, at age 89, in Las Vegas, Nev. Dunn created some of today’s most respected and widely used vocabulary assessments and instructional programs. His Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) has been a leader in educational testing for nearly 50 years. Born in Canada in 1917, Dunn obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Saskatchewan. He later taught grades 1 through 12 and served as a principal in the Saskatchewan public schools. He completed a Ph.D. program in special education and psychology at the University of Illinois. After joining the faculty at Peabody College in Nashville, Tenn., he developed the first Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT). The test was published in 1959 by AGS Publishing, known then as American Guidance Service, Inc. AGS Publishing was acquired by educational publisher Pearson in 2005.
|Co-founder and past president of AGS Publishing John Yackel said, “I took a prototype of the PPVT to the 1960 American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) convention. People were swarming to our booth to see it. The test could be given quickly and easily and correlated very highly with vocabulary on the Stanford-Binet [intelligence scale]. This meant you could get a measure of vocabulary ability without administering a time-consuming test. You knew it was the start of something very important, and indeed later this year, the test will be released in its fourth edition.”||Another article about Dr. Lloyd Dunn and his extensive career in educational measurement can be found on the ADVANCE Newsmagazine Web site.|
Dunn served on an education advisory panel for President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s, which identified a need for programs that could enhance communication skills. His newly published Peabody Language Development Kits (PLDK) were ideal for meeting this goal. Yackel said, “The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was passed in 1965 and the PLDK Level 1 was released just months later. The demand for this new language program was phenomenal.”
Yackel credited the early success of AGS Publishing to its association with Dunn. “Lloyd and I always said, ‘AGS made Lloyd Dunn and Lloyd Dunn made AGS.’ Lloyd himself was special, one of the most inquisitive and insightful people I’ve ever worked with.”
Over the course of his career, Dunn received many honors. He was senior past president of the Council for Exceptional Children and a fellow of the American Psychological Association. He was director of Peabody’s Mental Retardation Research Training Program, the first doctoral program in the nation for training researchers in this field. He conceived of the Institute on Mental Retardation and Intellectual Development, which was founded at Peabody in 1965, and was its first director. IMRID made major contributions to behavioral research in mental retardation.
Besides the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) and the Peabody Language Development Kits (PLDK), Dunn also co-authored the Test de Vocabulario en Imágenes Peabody (TVIP), the Peabody Early Experiences Kit (PEEK), the Peabody Articulation Decks (PAD), and The Picture File, as well as college textbooks, including Exceptional Children in the Schools.
Dr. Ronald Goldman, author of several tests for speech and language and special education, said, “Lloyd Dunn was a pioneer in the area of special education. His creativity provided the profession with some of the most acclaimed language assessment tools and language intervention programs. While directing the IMRID project at Peabody, he served as a mentor to many professionals who have become current leaders and major contributors in special education. His foresight, productivity, and leadership have left an indelible mark on the provision of services for children with disabilities.”
Pearson Assessments will release the fourth edition of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) at the end of the year. Dunn’s son, Dr. Doug Dunn, is the new co-author of the PPVT-4, thereby continuing his father’s tradition for providing reliable and valid comprehensive assessments and educational programs for children.
About Pearson Assessments
Pearson Assessments provides assessment instruments and data capture tools and technologies for use in education, business and health care settings. Backed by a half century of knowledge and expertise, Pearson Assessments – integrating Pearson NCS and the assessment division of AGS Publishing with the original Pearson Assessments business – offers products and services to deliver the accurate, reliable and usable information that professionals seek. Pearson Assessments is a business of Pearson Education, the world’s largest integrated education company, which in turn is part of Pearson, the international media company. Pearson’s other primary operations include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group.