Yet, according to an
article in Newsweek magazine, students who spend too much time at work, can harm their school achievement.
“Everybody worries why Japanese and German and Swedish students are doing better than us,” says Temple University psychologist Laurence Steinberg, who has studied after-school jobs. “One reason is they’re not spending their afternoons wrapping tacos.”
The problem is not that kids hold jobs, it’s how much time they spend working. For seniors, 63 percent held jobs lasting at least 15 hours a week.
That’s too much, most experts agree. Students who work long hours take less demanding courses. They are less likely to take science courses, for example. As a result, the jobs that are supposed to prepare students for work may reduce their chances for getting a good job.
The conflicts between jobs and work often create anxiety in teens. Psychologist Harold Stevenson of the University of Michigan compared teens in Sendai, Japan and Minneapolis.
In Japan, fewer teens work, and jobs are shorter. In a typical week, only 43 percent of the Japanese felt “stress.” That compared with 71 percent of the Americans.
Some students need to work, and some jobs can help students prepare for the future. But the message is clear—school must be a student’s primary job.
Copyright © Parent Institute