Fighting implicit early school leaving through reading aloud

The pandemic period has generated an invisible “flood” of dropouts. Invalsi data for 2021 show that the number of students who have not yet reached the minimum level of basic skills has increased. This hidden form of early school leaving looks set to grow and create huge gaps across the country, affecting the social and economic well-being of the community. The paper offers a theoretical framework of implicit early school leaving at the time of covid-19, investigating its most evident weaknesses, such as fragility of basic, emotional, social and planning skills. It then proposes, in the logic of research-intervention, reading aloud as a practice able to act positively on these fragilities. For each critical area, the results of quasi-experimental research carried out by the research group of the University of Perugia in various schools throughout Italy are proposed, which show, with empirical evidence, how it is possible and practicable to carry out significant intervention from within the school by training of reading aloud.