James Buchanan grew up in Hermanus. After matriculating at Westerford High School, he attended the University of Cape Town where he studied Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Geography and Astronomy before graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology in 1985. The following year he received a 1st for Zoology Honours and in 1987, was recognised as one of the top two postgraduate education students in the then Cape province. Later he went on to major in Information Systems, with Economics, through UNISA. James has taught the sciences for almost 20 years in the Western Cape and has served as a national examiner for the IEB. His specific interest in education lies in the fields of critical thinking and learning. He is married to Helen, an occupational therapist, and has two children.