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This article explores the problem of textbook aliteracy, i.e. the failure to read assigned texts despite the ability to do so. Constructivism is its theoretical frame. Teacher education students at a medium-sized university in the Southern Appalachian Mountains were surveyed on their textbook reading practices. Ninety percent of the 116 students completing the survey reported studying instructors’ power points in preference to completing assigned readings, at least some of the time. All were readers, though a majority (68%) reported at least some difficulty reading assigned texts. Often, they appeared to be avoiding the challenges posed by demanding text. The authors undertook various strategies to compel and encourage precise reading of informational text, with mixed results.

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This document was published with permission by the editor. It was originally published in the American Reading Forum Yearbook.