Volume 21 Number 17 June 11, 2020

Tagging Tabletops: How Children’s Drawings on School Furniture Offer Insight into Their Learning

David Rufo
Cazenovia College, USA

Citation: Rufo, D. (2020). Tagging tabletops: How children’s drawings on school furniture offer insight into their learning. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 21(17). Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.26209/ijea21n17.


In the spring of 2011, a teacher allowed his fourth and fifth grade students to draw and write on their classroom tables. What began as a few names eventually turned into a series of frenetic marks that completely covered the tabletops. Over the course of two years, new groups of students brought with them another cycle of marking that evolved in the form of notations, designs, and even carvings. The teacher documented this process over the years collecting data in the form of digital photographs, video clips, email communiqués, and teacher journal entries. This paper presents an analysis of the data, a discussion on the effects of allowing general elementary classroom students a significant degree of creative agency, and the pedagogical impacts of that agency.

Visual Abstract

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