In Covert Praise of Socrates

Merton recounts an influential teacher and mentor, Mark Van Doren, and in doing so, sketches what I still aspire to (though often failing) in terms of pedagogy--the great tradition of the Socratic method:

"Mark would come into the room and, without any fuss, would start talking about whatever was to be talked about. Most of the time he asked questions. His questions were very good, and if you tried to answer them intelligently, you found yourself saying excellent things that you did not know you knew, and that you had not, in fact, known before. He had 'educed' them from you by his question. His classes were literally 'education'--they brought things out of you, they made your mind produce its own explicit ideas."

~Merton, Seven Storey Mountain, p. 154