Research and local action: on compasses and other travel instruments

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From an experience in a region away from downtown São Paulo, Brazil, we discuss the research method used, based on the action research proposal. In 2016, along with two State schools and an organization devoted to education and culture, we developed 33 actions between workshops and round-table discussions with young people, teachers, managers, and cultural agents. As result, we could see the fruitfulness of actions guided by the listening and recognition of each person as a subject of law, capable of standing up for themselves. For the creation of the joint action strategy, we found out that the results depend on constructing partnership bonds as well as a willingness to listen and the configuration of each social and institutional context. Since it is not possible to establish a single parameter for all situations, the researcher's position becomes their guideline: their sense of ethics is the compass needed to travel through the map of the territory. © 2018 Instituto de Psicologia.