Growing up, I felt the experience in elementary school was very positive. I mean how negative can kindergarten to fifth grade be. I did believe that the foundations in a child’s education built their character. In elementary school I remember my teachers being positive overall. I do not remember being talked down to ever. I remember being positively reinforced a lot when I got good grades. The only interaction I remember being negative is this 100 problem times table multiplication test I could never finish them all in time. Eventually I did and it was fine. Everyone else did and then they got a giant chocolate bar.
I also feel like in school sometimes everyone is so much in competition for grades they’re not focused on actually learning. For example they just cram information into short term memory but do not actually understand what is going on. I feel like sometimes other students make it a negative experience and make other students feel dumb. For example a lot of students are afraid to ask questions to sound dumb or they are so confused they do not even know what to ask. There is a very competitive atmosphere and its difficult to not just come to a professor during office hours instead of when its actually happening. I do think if you ask a question and a teacher replies kinda snappy or judgmental then a child will not want to ask a question again.
I also think if a child is not succeeding in a class and they continue to see poor grades they are not encouraged to keep trying for better grades. I do not think we can eliminate grades but perhaps grade off of effort and comprehension combined. Of course this is hard to measure.