The College and University Faculty Assembly (CUFA) recently awarded Clemson University associate professor S. Megan Che with the 2015 Kipchoge Neftali Kirkland Social Justice Award for her work on a paper dealing with slavery, math and psychic violence on students. CUFA uses the award to recognize an innovative social justice-related paper presented at its annual meeting.

Che is an associate professor in the Eugene T. Moore School of Education and co-authored the paper, entitled “Educative-Psychic Violence: Articulating and Resisting Ramifications of Slavery Math Problems.”

“This paper…uses a rigorous content analysis methodology to examine if and how slavery math problems in three elementary classrooms enact educative-psychic violence on students,” said the CUFA Awards Committee. “The authors suggest an understanding of violence that focuses on power and oppression, not physical violence.”

The Awards Committee chose Che’s co-authored paper because it made a distinguished and significant contribution to promoting social justice in educational research and teaching.

“They suggest examples of socially justice slavery math problems that allow for critical thinking and associate Black people with more than just oppression and victimization,” stated the Awards Committee. “This paper is a vital contribution to the areas of curriculum, race and racism education, social justice, mathematics education, and social studies education.”

Che’s research interests include critical mathematics education, postcolonial educational processes, and hegemony, culture and mathematics. Che is currently working on a research project that compares the classroom environments of single-sex mathematics and science classes to coeducational classes in middle schools. She is also working on a separate research project that explores local environmental perspectives in Kenya.

CUFA is an affiliate group of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and consists of higher education faculty members, graduate students, K-12 teachers and others interested in a diversity of ideas and issues associated with social studies education. It is an advocacy organization for social studies education and conducts its own program and business meeting during the NCSS Annual Conference.