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Criticism of Quitak’s Child observation Essay

Quitak first explains that she is “working on the assumption that the problematic aspects of our experience contain the maximum potential”. However I think it is important to clarify from the outset, how she reached this assumption, as the reader does not know whether she went into the observation with this belief or whether these assumptions were developed as a result of her observation. There is another important omission relating to who the author actually is. She hasn’t positively stated that she is a Social Work student, although this is implied when she states that her observations had “implications for social work.” Therefore it is difficult to ascertain her purpose for carrying out the observations.

Furthermore Quitak fails to mention how she came to select the child included in her observations, how many observation sessions took place and the length of the sessions. Therefore the reader is unable to assess whether there were any issues of bias involved in her selection process.

The fact that she is the product of English middle class parents means she may be going into the study with particular assumptions, as she is observing a child who has a Palestinian parent. A significant area which was lacking in her observations was her inability to “tune in to Selena’s inner world” (pg 250), although Quitak does acknowledge this omission. She didn’t really try to question and understand Selena’s behaviour or how she might be feeling when she demonstrated behaviour she didn’t like, which meant her observation suffered as a result. King (2010) stresses the importance of “to access the child’s emotional world”.

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