Dr Jean Lee Farmer was born in Maitland, Cape Town in the same year that Apartheid became law. She completed her undergraduate studies and Honors at the University of the Western Cape and went on to become a high school teacher. She later resigned from teaching and went on to do a MPhil in Intercultural Communication at Stellenbosch University – an institution she had not been allowed to study at when she was younger.
She joined the Centre for Teaching and Learning at Stellenbosch University in 2010 where she interviewed for her current post as advisor with her friend and mentor (and supervisor until her passing), the late Prof Brenda Leibowitz. Jean felt that Brenda was one of the few people who “saw” her as the young girl from Hanover Park who wanted to become an academic. Brenda had been a teacher in Hanover Park while Jean was a high school student and both were involved in the 1980s student uprising for equal education.
Jean continues to critique higher education culture for the slow pace of transformation and lack of diversification in thinking rather than expecting staff and students to assimilate with the culture. She continues to search for ways to work collaboratively towards social justice through teaching and learning.
Adviser, Stellenbosch University
English tutor, Stellenbosch University
Stellenbosch University, PhD Higher Education
Stellenbosch University, MPhil Intercultural Communication
University of the Western Cape, BA (Hons)
Narratives of Black Women in South Africa higher education: an autoethnography, https://www.academia.edu/72774209/Jean_Lee_armer_PhD_final_November
Higher Education, Collaborative research in contexts of inequality: the role of social reflexivity
Studies in Educational Evaluation, Reﬂections on professional learning: Choices, context and culture
Mind, Culture ad=nd Activity, Influences of the past on professional lives: A collective commentary