University instructors’ achievement goals for teaching.

Achievement goals of university instructors for teaching were examined. We investigated the structure of these goals, the stability of this structure across different groups of instructors, and the relations of these goals to teaching-related outcomes. Achievement goals, positive affect, attitudes toward help, and self-reported teaching quality were assessed in a sample of 1,066 German university instructors from three different status groups (221 full professors, 370 postdoc staff members, 427 staff members without a PhD). The results confirmed that the well-established mastery, performance approach, and performance avoidance goals are likewise valid for university instructors, and that an appearance and a normative component of performance goals can be distinguished. Learning avoidance goals could be distinguished from learning approach goals and task goals could be separated from learning and performance goals. Also, work avoidance and relational goals were distinct from all previous goals. A model representing all differentiations adequately fitted the data. The goal structure was found to be completely invariant across different status groups of instructors—however, groups differed by mean levels of goals. Structural equation modeling pointed to the relevance of the goals: Theoretically sensible relationships with positive affect, attitudes toward help, and teaching quality affirmed the predictive validity of each goal class. Again, these relations were identical for all groups of instructors, highlighting the importance of the addressed goals independent of instructor status. Taken together, this sheds light on the structure of university instructors’ achievement goals, and emphasizes the importance of this concept for analyzing instruction and learning in higher education. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)