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The project approach is highly influenced by development theory, Piaget described that children construct their learning and understanding from their surroundings (Nolan & Raban, 2015). Therefore, the learning environment from where children learn need to be open-ended and based on children’s interest (Nolan & Raban, 2015). Similarly, when following the project approach, early childhood teachers need to design a curriculum that focuses on children’s age, developmental stage, and interest to make learning meaningful. 


The project approach is influenced by critical theories, where early childhood teachers are responsive to children's interests, and agency of play and include children in decision-making by encouraging children to share their ideas and understanding. Critical theories also encourage early childhood educators to critically reflect on what children are learning and how it can be improved in the future (Nolan & Raban, 2015). 


The project approach follows sociocultural theory, where educators and children's relationships are the foundation of learning (Nolan & Raban, 2015). Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory encourages early childhood educators to focus on children’s culture, beliefs, and developmental stages when planning any learning experience (Nolan & Raban, 2015). Likewise, educators can provide various opportunities for children to share their ideas and knowledge through social interaction with peers and educators (Nolan & Raban, 2015).


Under the post-structuralist theory, early childhood teachers should be aware that the curriculum is inclusive and include individual children (Nolan & Raban, 2015). Which includes children’s interests, agency of play, and participation (Nolan & Raban, 2015). 

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