Judith Torney-Purta

Member Since: 2014

Judith Torney-Purta is a developmental and educational psychologist who is Professor Emerita of Human Development (HDQM Department) at the University of Maryland. She has conducted interdisciplinary research for nearly fifty years on young people’s knowledge of democracy and on the social and political attitudes necessary to maintain it. The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) appointed Torney-Purta as the International Chair of the Steering Committee for their landmark IEA Civic Education Study. Over a ten-year period with colleagues from thirty countries, she led a rigorous study of how young people are prepared for their roles as citizens in democracies and societies aspiring to democracy. In addition to its publications and provision of data for secondary analysis, this study developed a multi-national cadre of early-career researchers. Recently Torney-Purta has focused on enhancing the public’s and policy makers’ understanding of methods of assessment and findings from cross-national studies of US students’ achievement across subject areas. She has also led efforts to promote effective international collaboration among researchers in the social sciences and education as a member of the U.S. National Committee for Psychological Science at the National Academy of Sciences.

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