The case for
The 10 Questions Method and Socratic Teaching
S4S works across the entrepreneurship ecosystem to develop and deliver integrated programs. At the core of all our work are two unifying teaching methods and learning tools, unique to S4S – an analytical tool and framework called The 10Questions and an interactive learning process based on The Socratic Method. What experience has taught us is that business models matter the most. Entrepreneurs must learn how to interrogate, test and analyze potential models for their business.
The 10Questions teaches entrepreneurs to think critically and analytically about the business idea, existing business, or social enterprise that they are starting or growing. It compels them, first, to discover the facts they need to test their business model in the real world and then adapt it accordingly. It then provides them with a method to determine, and then overcome, the obstacles that stand in the way of successfully executing their business model and growing their business or social enterprise.
What sets the 10Q method apart is that it is used by all of the people who will work with the entrepreneur. The instructors, mentors, monitors, facilitators and even the investment managers all use the 10Questions to help themselves and the entrepreneur-students to understand the businesses being discussed. Thus the lens of the 10 Questions, gives all the participants in the process a common language and common path towards reaching agreement on how best to deploy the various
Further, unlike many popular tools and methods that have arisen from Silicon Valley, this tool is broadly applicable across all types of businesses or social enterprises including startups from the Creative Industries and startups in developing countries.
Finally, the 10Questions is a transferable skill. Entrepreneurs can use it to analyze other businesses, established businesses and social enterprises or non-profits.
The Socratic method is core to the School for Startups teaching and learning process. It is a well-proven form of inquiry and discussion between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas.
The Socratic Method of dialogue between teacher and student subtly forces students to challenge every assumption they make about how the world works and to unpack the specific problems they face and fundamentally rethink the options open to them and the solutions they have developed. The students internalize the questions and thus develop for themselves the ability to dispassionately analyze their business and its challenges – and then formulate innovative and robust ways forward.
The Socratic Method is not the traditional form of teaching that most educators are familiar with, and certainly not those operating in the realm of Entrepreneurship Training.. We have pioneered the use of Socratic teaching methodologies in the delivery of all facets of our curricula, and know it to be a transformative educational and learning experience for all who participate
Moreover, it takes training and practice to become good at The Socratic Method. We believe that having the local professional capacities to deliver EET is critical to extract maximum social and economic benefit from entrepreneurship. S4S places a high priority on creating these capacities as part of its work program. And we specialize in training local professionals (which includes course instructors but also mentors, facilitators, etc.) to deliver our using the principles of the Socratic method.