David Rufo, Ph.D.

David Rufo

Co-Program Director, Inclusive Education
Assistant Professor of Inclusive Education

Ph.D. Syracuse University Teaching & Curriculum/Teaching & Leadership

M.S. State University of New York at Cortland, Concentration: K-6 Mathematics

New York State K-6 Elementary Education Certificate, LeMoyne College

B.F.A. Syracuse University, Major: Studio Arts

Division: Social & Behavioral Sciences
Eddy Hall 308

David Rufo is an Assistant Professor of Education in the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Cazenovia College in upstate New York. Previously, Dr. Rufo was a Clinical Assistant Professor at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education at Lincoln Center in New York City. Additionally, Dr. Rufo has two decades of experience as a general elementary classroom teacher and an instructor in the Department of Art Education at Syracuse University. Dr. Rufo’s research interests include: Teacher Education, Curriculum Studies, Interdisciplinary Learning, STEAM Education, Qualitative Research, Classroom Action Research, Narrative Inquiry, Elementary Education, Critical Pedagogy, Child-Centered Education, Hands-On Mathematical Investigations, Democratic Classrooms, Visual Culture, The Self-Initiated Creativity of Children, Contemporary Art, Art History, and Art Education. David has published articles in a variety of national and international peer-reviewed journals. In addition to being an educator, David is also a visual artist. His writings may be found at cazenovia.academia.edu/DavidRufo and his artwork at davidjohnrufo.com.

  • Books & Chapters
  • Rufo, D. (forthcoming, 2021). Building forts at recess: When student play becomes STEAM learning. In
  • N. Walkup & T.L. Hunter-Doniger (Eds.), STEAM education: Transdisciplinarity of art in the curriculum (pp. xx-xx). Alexandria, VA: National Art Education Association.
  • Rufo, D. (2013). Swarming toward creativity. [Raw story data incorporated into Rolling, J. H. (2013).
  • Swarm intelligence: What nature teaches us about shaping creative leadership. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan]
  • Peer Reviewed Articles
  • Rufo, D. (2020). Tagging tabletops: How the drawings of children on school furniture
  • offer insight into their learning. International Journal of Education and the Arts, 21(17). Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.26209/ijea21n17.
  • Rufo, D. (2019). A thing I made: How children transform everyday materials into creative
  • artifacts for learning. Trends: The Journal of the Texas Art Association, 10-15.
  • Rufo, D. (2017). Stumbling into the spiral: A serendipitous STEAM exploration. The STEAM
  • Journal, 3(1).
  • Rufo, D. (2017). Math hater: How one child overcame her math anxiety through self-administered
  • art therapy. Art Education, 70(5), 6-10.
  • Rufo, D. (2016). STEAM-ing up the science fair. Art Education, 69(4), 12-16.
  • Rufo, D. (2016). Self-initiated creativity in the elementary classroom (Doctoral dissertation). Available
  • From ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 10165547).
  • Rufo, D. (2014). Breaking internalized teacher scripts: From traditional habits of mind to a creative
  • mindset. Journal of Visual Inquiry, 3(3), 391-404.
  • Rufo, D. (2014). An arts-based classroom confronts educational metanarratives: Grand narratives, local
  • stories and a classroom teacher’s story. Journal of Social Theory in Art Education, 34, 18-30.
  • Rufo, D. (2014). Swarming toward creativity. Teaching Artist Journal, 12(4), 231-234.
  • Rufo, D. (2014). Big Paintings Club. Voke, 2. Retrieved from
  • http://www.vokeart.org/?p=490&spoke=1
  • Rufo, D. (2013). bUzZ: A guide to authentic and joyful creative learning. Power and Education, 5(2),
  • 149-158.
  • Rufo, D. (2013). Masking tape: The artist’s urge to wrap. Teaching Artist Journal, 11(2), 107-111.
  • Rufo, D. (2013). STEAM with a capital A. The STEAM Journal, 1(1).
  • Rufo, D. (2013). Ophelia’s fort. Teaching Artist Journal, 11(1), 43-45.
  • Rufo, D. (2012). Building forts and drawing on walls: Fostering student-initiated creativity both inside and outside the elementary classroom. Art Education, 65(3), 40-47.
  • Rufo, D. (2011). Allowing artistic agency in the elementary classroom. Art Education, 64(3), 18-23.
  • Invited Articles and Papers
  • Rufo, D. (2019, January). Artwork: Two Pieces. A-Minor Magazine: https://aminormagazine.com.
  • Rufo, D. (2015) Self-Initiated Creativity in the Elementary Classroom, Marilyn Zurmuehlen Working
  • Papers in Art Education (http://ir.uiowa.edu/mzwp/), accepted paper.
  • Rufo, D. (2013, October). Math Journal Graffiti.
  • http://tajaltspace.com/math-journal-graffiti-david-rufo/.
  • Rufo, D. (2013, June). Whiteboard drawings: Empowering children as artists. The Visual ARTBEAT: http://visualartbeat.com/whiteboard-drawings-empowering-children-as-art….
  • Rufo, D. (2013, June). Wolfgang Laib, fourth graders, and the openness of the artistic process.
  • http://tajaltspace.com/wolfgang-laib-fourth-graders-and-the-openness-of….
  • Rufo, D. (2013, April). Swarming toward creativity.
  • http://tajaltspace.com/swarming-toward-creativity/.
  • Rufo, D. (2013, February). Checking out - Checking in. http://tajaltspace.com/when-checking-out-is-
  • checking-in-david-rufo/.
  • Rufo, D. (2013, February). Technique schmechnique. The Visual ARTBEAT, (11), 40-42.
  • Rufo, D. (2012, December). Technique schmechnique.
  • http://tajaltspace.com/technique-schmechnique/.
  • Rufo, D. (2012, October). Masking tape. http://tajaltspace.com/masking-tape/.
  • Rufo, D. (2012, September). Colored ice. http://tajaltspace.com/colored-ice/.
  • Rufo, D. (2012, August). Drawing on tabletops. http://tajaltspace.com/drawing-on-tabletops/.
  • Rufo, D. (2012, June). Ophelia’s fort. http://tajaltspace.com/ophelias-fort/.
  • Rufo, D. (2012, May). Paint bomb girls. http://tajaltspace.com/paint-bomb-girls/.
  • Rufo, D. (2012, May). Snowfall. http://tajaltspace.com/snowfall/.
  • Rufo, D. (2004). Is teaching cursive a waste of time? American Teacher, 88(4).
  • Works in Progress
  • Rufo, D. The benefits and challenges of merging self-initiated creativity with STEAM learning in the
  • elementary classroom.