When any new thing comes in their way, children usually ask the com- mon question of a stranger: What is it? Whereby they ordinarily mean noth-ing but the name; and therefore to tell them how it is called is usually the proper answer to that demand. The next question usually is: What is it for? And to this it should be answered truly and directly: the use of the thing should be told, and the way explained how it serves to such a purpose, as far as their capacities can comprehend it. And so of any other circum-stances they shall ask about it; not turning them going till you have given them all the satisfaction they are capable of, and so leading them by your answers into farther questions. And perhaps to a grown man such conver-sation will not be altogether so idle and insignificant as we are apt to imag-ine. The native and untaught suggestions of inquisitive children do often offer things that may set a considering man's thoughts on work. And I think there is frequently more to be learned from the unexpected ques-tions of a child than the discourses of men, who talk in a road, according to the notions they have borrowed and the prejudices of their education.
I understand the last sentence's meaning: Locke is spurning rote learning and received wisdom.
But what does the emboldened verb phrase intend to say? It feels like a metaphor.