Skip to main content

Recent Updates Fordham campuses remain physically closed per New York Pause, but all offices are staffed and operating remotely. Full Details

David Rufo


David Rufo faculty profile

Clinical Assistant Professor 

Coordinator, Fordham-SUNY Purchase 5 Year Track Program 

113 West 60th Street
Lowenstein 1003G

Dr. Rufo is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Fordham University. He also serves as the Faculty Advisor to the education@fordham online program. Prior to joining the GSE faculty, Dr. Rufo was an elementary classroom teacher and instructor at Syracuse University.

Dr. Rufo received his bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Syracuse University, master’s degree in K-6 Mathematics from SUNY Cortland, and Ph.D. in Teaching and Curriculum at Syracuse University. His dissertation research examined the self-initiated creative processes and artifacts of children who were allowed significant creative agency in an elementary classroom setting.

Dr. Rufo has published articles in a variety of national and international peer-reviewed journals and actively presents his research at educational conferences. He currently serves on the Research Commission of the National Art Education Association and was previously editorial assistant for the journal Art Education.

In addition to being an educator, Dr. Rufo is also a visual artist. His art explores the intersections of perceptual phenomena and autobiographical memory.

His writings may be found at and his artwork at


PhD, Teaching and Curriculum, Syracuse University

MS, K-6 Mathematics, State University of New York at Cortland

BFA, Fine Arts. Syracuse University


Research Interests

  • Art Education
  • Art History
  • Child-Centered Education
  • Classroom Action Research
  • Contemporary Art
  • Critical Pedagogy
  • Curriculum Studies
  • Democratic Classrooms
  • Elementary Education
  • Hands-On Mathematical Investigations
  • Interdisciplinary Learning
  • Narrative Inquiry
  • Qualitative Research
  • Self-Initiated Creativity of Children
  • STEAM Education
  • Teacher Education
  • Visual Culture

Selected Publications

Rufo, D. (in press, 2020) Tagging tabletops: How the drawings of children on school furniture offer insight into their learning. Studies in Art Education.

Rufo, D. (in press, 2019). A thing I made: How children transform everyday materials into creative artifacts for learning. Trends 2019.

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. (2015) Self-Initiated Creativity in the Elementary Classroom, Marilyn Zurmuehlen Working Papers in Art Education (, accepted paper.

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, June). Whiteboard drawings: Empowering children as artists. The Visual ARTBEAT:

Rufo, D. (2013, February). Technique schmechnique. The Visual ARTBEAT, (11), 40-42.

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.

Rufo, D. (2004). Is teaching cursive a waste of time? American Teacher, 88(4).



CTGE 5176 Teaching Math and Science in Inclusive Adolescence Classrooms

CTGE 5212 Teaching the Arts in Childhood Education

CTGE 5227 Teaching Math to Children

CTGE 5402 Teaching and Learning with Diverse Adolescents

CTGE 5420 Educating Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Learners

CTGE 5534 Beginning Reading and Writing in Inclusive Classrooms

CTGE 5551/5553 Reflective Practice & Student Teaching in an Inclusive Childhood Classroom

CTGE 5552 Reflective Practice & Student Teaching in Inclusive Classrooms

CTGE 6008 Critical Literacy, Inquiry and Literature for Children

CTGE 6010 Critical Literacy, Inquiry and Literature for Adolescents

CTGE 6261 Media Literacy and Technology 

CTGE 6810 Sociopolitical Dimensions of Education