chapter  2
What Teachers Want to Achieve and Why It Matters: An Achievement Goal Approach to Teacher Motivation
ByRuth Butler
Pages 16

Student motivation has long been a major focus of research in educational psychology. One might have expected to see corresponding interest in motivation for teaching, but until very recently there was almost no systematic, theory-driven research on teacher motivation. Rather, the approach to teachers, rather like that for many years to mothers, seemed to be that they are of interest because they infl uence the young, not always for the better, but are of little interest in their own right. Indeed, only after many years during which I both conducted research on student motivation and tried to help teachers promote, rather than undermine, student motivation for learning in their classes did I begin to ask myself what motivates teacher themselves. In this chapter I chart the development of my achievement goal approach to teacher motivation. The fi rst and main section begins where I did, which was to extrapolate directly from work on students’ achievement motivation to ask whether teacher motivation can also be conceptualized in terms of four broad classes of mastery, ability-approach, ability-avoidance, and work-avoidance goals. I then review studies conducted by myself and others designed to develop theoretically grounded measures of teachers’ achievement goals and to examine whether goals for teaching matter, insofar as they are associated with distinct patterns of perceptions and behaviors.