Male professor David Rufo

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

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 and his artwork at

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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:
  • Rufo, D. (2015) Self-Initiated Creativity in the Elementary Classroom, Marilyn Zurmuehlen Working
  • Papers in Art Education (, accepted paper.
  • Rufo, D. (2013, October). Math Journal Graffiti.
  • Rufo, D. (2013, June). Whiteboard drawings: Empowering children as artists. The Visual ARTBEAT:….
  • Rufo, D. (2013, June). Wolfgang Laib, fourth graders, and the openness of the artistic process.
  • Rufo, D. (2013, April). Swarming toward creativity.
  • Rufo, D. (2013, February). Checking out - Checking in.
  • checking-in-david-rufo/.
  • Rufo, D. (2013, February). Technique schmechnique. The Visual ARTBEAT, (11), 40-42.
  • Rufo, D. (2012, December). Technique schmechnique.
  • Rufo, D. (2012, October). Masking tape.
  • Rufo, D. (2012, September). Colored ice.
  • Rufo, D. (2012, August). Drawing on tabletops.
  • Rufo, D. (2012, June). Ophelia’s fort.
  • Rufo, D. (2012, May). Paint bomb girls.
  • Rufo, D. (2012, May). 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.