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David Rufo


Dr. David Rufo, Clinical Assistant Professor

Clinical Assistant Professor
Curriculum and Teaching

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 GSE's Faculty Advisor to the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society.  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

Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts (BFA), Syracuse University


Research Interests

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.

Selected Publications

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).



Educating Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Learners (CTGE 5420)

Beginning Reading and Writing in Inclusive Classrooms (CTGE 5534)

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

Sociopolitical Dimensions of Education (CTGE 6810)