Small steps: Children's socialisation into traffic in preschool

A group of children in yellow reflective vests are crossing the street together with some adults.
Roland Magnusson

How do young children learn to safely participate in traffic? In this project, we film and analyse preschool walks through urban areas, allowing us to understand the teaching practices and get a grip on children’s gradual socialisation into traffic.

This project explores how educators introduce children (aged 3-5 years) into traffic, as part of the daily activities of the preschool. Although traffic competence is not part of the curriculum for the Swedish preschool, educators regularly instruct children about how to behave in traffic, particularly when moving through urban traffic environments to reach parks and recreation areas. The preschool is therefore an obvious setting for examining how children’s traffic behaviour and awareness is bolstered in early education.

Advancing our knowledge with video ethnography and interaction analysis 

The project constitutes a longitudinal video-ethnographic and interaction analytic study, theoretically based in ethnomethodology and analytically informed by multimodal conversation analysis and membership categorisation analysis. Data have been collected at several intervals in urban preschools for roughly two years and comprise video and audio recordings of their walks through urban areas. Analytical foci include children’s knowledge and awareness of traffic risks, and the norms of conduct as promoted by the staff.

In this way, the project generates unique longitudinal data that allow us to advance our knowledge of the processes through which children gradually become members in a society characterised by the omnipresence of mobility and transport.


Cover of publication ''
Annerose Willemsen, Jakob Cromdal, Mathias Broth (2023)

Discourse Studies , Vol.25 , s.823-845 Continue to DOI

Cover of publication ''
Jakob Cromdal, Mathias Broth, Annerose Willemsen (2023)
Cover of publication ''
Annerose Willemsen, Jakob Cromdal, Mathias Broth (2023)