Background. Situational interest (SI) has been used to interpret motivation in task engagement (Renninger & Hidi, 2016). SI has been conceptualized in physical education (PE) as a multidimensional construct including five dimensions: instant enjoyment, exploration intention, attention demand, novelty and challenge.
Aim. Consistent with Ding, Sun and Chen (2013), who argued for the need “to develop cross-culture models to examine the universality of the motivation constructs” (p. 267), the purpose of this study was to investigate the universality and uniqueness of students’ SI by comparing SI dimensions between three main French-speaking European PE contexts.
Samples. Participants were 1812 secondary school students from Belgium (the Walloon community), France (the Northwest region), and Switzerland (the state of Vaud).
Methods. They responded to the French 19-item SI scale (Roure, Pasco & Kermarrec, 2016) after practicing learning tasks in regular PE lessons. The relationships between the SI dimensions were compared between the three samples using correlation, regression analyses and a multivariate analysis of variance.
Results. The results revealed the universality and uniqueness of students’ SI in PE. Instant enjoyment and exploration intention were two major motivating dimensions, highlighting the universality of students’ SI, whereas challenge and novelty revealed the uniqueness of this construct.
Conclusions. Results are discussed regarding the cultural PE context of each country including the aims of PE and the physical activities used for the lessons