A Different Kind of School is written by E. V. Lucas.
The author had heard a great deal about Miss Beam’s school. It was unlike other ordinary schools. It followed a new method of teaching. It tried to ennoble the students. It taught them to give a helping hand to a disabled person.
The author decided to visit that school. As he entered the gate, he saw a young girl being led by a little boy. The girl was of about 12 while her guide was of about 8. The boy was also describing things to her.
Miss Beam was middle aged and dominating. But she was also very kindly and helpful. She comforted the homesick children like a mother. She explained to the author her teaching methods. She taught the kids spelling, simple arithmetic, and writing. She read interesting stories to them. They sat still and attentive.
The real aim of Miss Beam’s school was not to teach new thoughts and ideas. They were trained to be kind to others, to become good citizens. The author looked out of the window. He liked the beautiful grounds. But he was pained to see some children not all healthy and active looking. Some girls had their eyes bandaged. A girl was walking with the help of a crutch.
Miss Beam explained that none of the students was really blind, cripple or lame. They were playing different roles as a part of their training. They were taught to share in the misfortunes of others. So each one had one blind day, one lame day, one deaf day and one dumb day. Other children were put on duty to help the needy.
The blind day was, of course, the worst. Miss Beam led the author to the bandaged girl. She said that being blind was the worst experience. But she was very thankful to her helpers. She had a walk with the author. She asked several questions about the colour, the people, the places and things. The author tried his best to answer those questions. He became ten times more thoughtful than ever.
He was convinced that Miss Beam’s experiment was really new and wonderful.