Teaching goals of early career university teachers in Germany

Marold Wosnitza, Kerstin Helker, Lucas Lohbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


While schoolteacher motivation has become a significant area in educational research, teachers in higher education have been left somewhat disregarded. This exploratory study focuses on early career university teachers’ motivation, specifically on their personal goals. The results show that most participants emphasise their research and qualification rather than their teaching. Focusing on their goals as a teacher, four areas of teaching goals emerge: self-directed, content-directed, teaching-directed and student-directed teaching goals. Based on these, three groups of teachers with different goal profiles were identified: instruction-oriented, student-oriented, and ego-oriented early career university teachers. The study could not confirm any differences between these groups and their self-perceived teacher responsibility or self-efficacy but there were significant differences between the groups in the areas in which early career university teachers teach and in the length of time they have been teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-103
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Teacher motivation
  • University teacher
  • Responsibility
  • Teacher efficacy
  • Higher education


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