A was a Greek philosopher, considered to be one of the greatest of all times, left no written records. He questioned his students in an unending search for truth. He sought to get to the foundations of his students’ and colleagues’ views by asking continual questions until a contradiction was exposed, thus proving the fallacy of the initial assumption. This method of teaching is named after the philosopher himself.
It comes up in modern teaching when an instructor feigns ignorance of the subject and asks questions to the students to draw out the correct answer. A well-read student will often try to bring out information which doesn’t really get to the heart of the matter. This leads the instructor to shut the student down. This method is standard in American law schools.