this study aimed to construct the operational base of the educative work in health from a marxist perspective. reports of nursing experiences in the basic health services, published between 1988-2003, served as empirical base. the object was captured from: the participants; the action agents; the objective; health and education conceptions; and the generating necessity. the means/instruments were identified through: physical space; didactic resources; frequency of meetings; and the conception of health education. the type of evaluation; to whom it was directed; the goal to be reached and articulation between the theoretical and operational knowledge were identified in order to capture the purpose. the educative work in collective health can strengthen social groups when it becomes praxis that assumes the participant as a dialogical co-producer of the work in health.