Ruth Horowitz

Featured Alumni Profiles

Ruth Horowitz

M.A., Elementary Education

Ruth Horowitz has devoted her life to education. As a revered teacher, lecturer and author, she has worked to ensure that children of all backgrounds receive the nurturing, high quality education they need to achieve their full potential.


Born in 1910 in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, Ruth attended the Newark Normal School, a two-year teachers' training college which later became Kean University. She received her B.A. and M.A. in Education from NYU's School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and an honorary doctorate from Kean University. Her husband, the late Leon Horowitz, received his B.A. from Alfred University and his J.D. from the New York University School of Law, and her sister, Rosalynd Socol, holds a degree from the School of Culture, Education, and Human Development in Business Education.


Ruth taught in New Jersey schools, primarily at the elementary level, for more than thirty years. She also held high-level administrative positions, including Supervisor of Schools in West New York, New Jersey. She also taught as an adjunct professor at both New York University and Kean University. However, her true love was interacting with children, parents, and teachers. Until her retirement she remained a classroom teacher.


Over the course of her career she became well known for her innovative -- and sometimes unconventional – approach to teaching, which included having children write their own storybooks, build dollhouses, and take train rides. Once she created a golf course in the middle of her classroom to help her students learn about numbers and distances.


With a growing reputation as an exemplary teacher, Ruth was frequently invited to lecture on education at prestigious colleges and universities in the Northeast. She served on the New Jersey State Committee for Children and Youth and was selected as a delegate to the White House Conference on Children. She has also received the New Jersey Education Association's Award for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Education three times.


Ruth greatly enjoyed writing and reading her own poems and stories to the children she taught and at one point in her career decided to submit a manuscript for a children's book to Simon and Schuster. Her story, What Am I? (a picture quiz book for young readers) was immediately accepted. Published in the Little Golden Book series, and translated into seven languages, it delights children to this day.


"Teaching is not a job," Ruth Horowitz has remarked, "it's about giving the best of yourself to others every day." Her generous gifts to The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development are a testament to her lifelong love of education.


The Ruth Horowitz Scholarship Fund isan endowed fund providing support annually for master's level students pursuing teaching degrees in the Department of Teaching and Learning. The Horowitz Scholarships enable dedicated young teachers to obtain the advanced training they need for permanent careers in the profession.

Learn more about our Department of Teaching and Learning.