Jocelyn Bell Swanson, MEd


“At the core of my teaching philosophy lies a belief in the inexorable link between all disciplines and the invaluable interconnectedness of all learners as individuals and also members of an important learning community.”

What thrills Jocelyn the most about Montessori is that it provides a path to reaching character – a way to cultivate not only a student or a teacher, but a soul-filled human being. She believes the best part about being a Montessori guide is the privilege of helping students in their irresistible quest to discover their potential – a journey from discovery to exploration to innovation.

Jocelyn first dipped her toes into the world of Montessori as a parent, then as a secondary educator, and currently, she is a consultant and director of the Secondary Training and Teacher Certification program for the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. With an undergraduate major in Business Administration, a minor in Communications, and a Master’s degree in Education, she founded the Williamsburg Montessori Middle School and taught History, English, Business, and Agricultural Studies, all through project-based learning and embedding the arts into her practice. Jocelyn’s work has centered on the Socratic method of discussion, a key takeaway from her Montessori training and a philosophy that she finds essential to feeding the curiosity of the adolescents and adults with whom she works. She also enjoys offering project-based experiences that directly tie together the mind, head, heart and hand.

Because of her background and belief in the value of project-based, experiential learning, Jocelyn’s classes in the arts are structured around the students’ interests and unique creative expressions. We learn by doing, and we learn as we work, sometimes independently and often in collaboration. Together, Jocelyn and her students focus on creating their story in the arts through their contributions to both art and music as they look at models, practice methods, and appreciate beauty and structure. 

Jocelyn is thrilled to be part of the launch of YNZ, a truly innovative program founded on the principles of Montessori. At YNZ Montessori, Jocelyn will offer her students the opportunity to learn by doing in an environment specifically designed to meet the needs of adolescents. She believes YNZ’s forward-looking six-year program will prepare young adults to be successful, adaptable, and effective citizens of the world.