Global learning aims to change behaviour and attitudes. Changes in these areas are not easy to assess. This article discusses the documentary method, which belongs to the group of qualitative reconstructive research methods. The authors argue that this method allows reflection on collective orientations and tacit knowledge. The different steps of data analysis are introduced and explained using a research example from the field of global learning that focuses on orientations towards world society in youth encounters between youth groups in the northern and southern hemispheres.