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Multiculturalism in the VELS

Introduction | Level 1 | Level 2 | Level 3 | Level 4 | Level 5 | Level 6 | Show all

Introduction

Multiculturalism is an integral part of the VELS and covers a range of knowledge, skills, values and behaviours including:

Examples of the elements of the standards that can be addressed through the teaching of multiculturalism is provided in a table for each VELS level.

 

Links to VELS Level 1

Strand Domain Learning Focus

Elements of the Level 1 standards

Students:

Physical, Personal and Social Learning

Health and Physical Education Students … begin to learn about the importance of eating a variety of foods. They learn about how foods differ in look, taste, feel and smell, and begin to understand how good food choices contribute to an active and healthy life. Standards for Health knowledge and promotion are introduced at Level 3.
Interpersonal Development [Students] interact with their peers, teachers and other adults in a range of contexts. They learn to play constructively together and are encouraged to develop friendships with peers. … contribute to the development of positive social relationships in a range of contexts.
Civics and Citizenship Students learn about and celebrate special cultural, local, community and national days; for example, school sporting events and Clean Up Australia Day. They engage in school and cultural events in a responsible and active way. Standards are introduced at Level 3.

Discipline–based Learning

The Arts

As part of their arts making, students talk about ways in which the Arts are part their personal experience as well as cultural and social events in their community.

Creating and making

… talk about aspects of their own arts works, and arts works and events in their community.

The Humanities Through reading and listening to narratives, including personal stories, and participating in celebrations students begin to learn about the cultures and histories that have contributed to Australian society. Standards are introduced at Level 3.

LOTE Pathway 1

[Students] develop an understanding of the speakers of the language other than English and the countries, regions and communities where the language is spoken.

Intercultural knowledge and language awareness

Progression measures:
… demonstrate an understanding of some of the differences in how people eat and dress, sign and gesture, write and say things.

… identify a cultural icon, geographic feature, famous building or cultural practice and make a simple statement about it in the language.

 

Links to VELS Level 2

Strand Domain Learning Focus

Elements of the Level 2 standards

Students:

Physical, Personal and Social Learning

Interpersonal Development

[Students] interact with their peers, older and younger students and adults, in a range of contexts. With teacher support, students reflect on personal qualities which contribute to the development and maintenance of friendships. They begin to develop and exhibit appropriate behaviours for maintaining positive social relationships.

Building social relationships

… identify the feelings and needs of other people.

Civics and Citizenship [Students] identify the range of groups to which they, their family members and their class belong. They begin to appreciate the similarities and differences between individuals and groups, including the language, cultural and religious groups which make up the Australian nation.
… They begin to appreciate the common values important to groups and individuals; for example, fairness, tolerance, understanding and respect.
Standards are introduced at Level 3.
Discipline-based Learning

The Arts

Students respond to arts works to gain experience in identifying personal preferences, reflecting on features that might influence their own arts works, and recognising similarities and differences between works from different cultures and times. They learn about places where arts works can be found and how arts works can be designed and made to fulfil particular individual and community needs.

Creating and making

… create and present performing and visual arts works that show emerging arts knowledge and an ability to plan arts works that communicate ideas, concepts, observations, feelings and/or experiences.

The Humanities Through reading and listening to narratives, including personal stories, and participating in celebrations students begin to learn about the cultures and histories that have contributed to Australian society. Standards are introduced at Level 3.

LOTE Pathway 1

[Students] learn about culture in context from stimulus materials. They learn that there are different ways of doing things and to identify what is familiar and what is different in their own and other cultures. Intercultural knowledge and language awareness

Progression measures:
… identify two or more places features, famous buildings, landmarks or cultural practices in another society.

… recognise variations in how people respond in daily situations and describe the values underpinning these responses.
Interdisciplinary Learning Thinking Processes [Students] explore the community and environment around them, and increasingly consider contexts and information which lie beyond their immediate experience. Standards are introduced at Level 3.

 

Links to VELS Level 3

Strand Domain Learning Focus

Elements of the Level 3 standards

Students:

Physical, Personal and Social Learning

Health and Physical Education

[Students] consider the physiological, social, cultural and economic factors that influence food choice, and the impact of these factors on healthy eating. Examples could include: … the influence of peers and family on food choice; popular foods in other countries; and the availability of low cost healthy snacks or lunches.

Health knowledge and promotion

… identify healthy eating practices and explain some physiological, social, cultural and economic reasons for people’s food choices.

Interpersonal Development

[Students] interact with their peers, older and younger students, and adults in both informal and formal contexts. They develop their skills and strategies for getting to know and understand others within increasingly complex situations.

… They are supported to develop relationships based on respect and the valuing of individual differences …

Building social relationships

 … demonstrate respect for others and exhibit appropriate behaviour for maintaining friendships with other people.

Civics and Citizenship

[Students] … build on their understanding of Australian society and investigate some of the different cultural groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) communities that make up the Australian community. They learn about the contributions that people from diverse groups have made to many aspects of the Australian way of life. This includes contributions to the arts, industry, medicine and science, as well as to other aspects of their life including food, festivals and sporting events.  They explore the ways that Australians are connected to other regional and global communities.

Civic knowledge and understanding

… demonstrate understanding of the contribution of people from the many culturally diverse groups that make up the Australian community.

Discipline–based Learning

The Arts

[Students] apply and develop their arts knowledge by exploring arts processes and ways to communicate concepts arising from their personal experiences and from the world around them.

For example, a class presentation could feature the performance of a song from another culture in combination with a traditional dance and/or accompanied by a slide-show presentation featuring paintings and carvings which explore the theme of the song.

[Students] reflect on their own and other people’s arts works and ideas, identifying key features of works and performances from their own and other cultures, and discuss the function of the Arts in their community.

Creating and making

… create and present works in a range of arts forms that communicate experiences, ideas, concepts, observations and feelings.

… show evidence of arts knowledge when planning arts works for different purposes and audiences and identify techniques and features of other people’s works that inform their own arts making.

Exploring and responding

… identify and describe key features of arts works from their own and other cultures, and use arts language to describe and discuss the communication of ideas, feelings and purpose in their own and other people’s arts works.

The Humanities

[Students] examine the histories of the cultural groups represented in their classroom, community and nation.

Humanities knowledge and understanding

… describe and sequence some … key aspects of the histories of cultural groups that make up their class, community and nation.

LOTE Pathway 1

[Students] begin to understand and use the language other than English in relation to their personal world, countries where the language is spoken (for example, its geography, history, aspects of shopping) and the world of the imagination. They begin to collect information in the language … They start to explore the beliefs and lifestyles of people from other countries who now live in Australia.

Intercultural knowledge and language awareness

Progression measures:
… demonstrate an understanding of culturally appropriate values, responses and patterns of behaviour …

… compare and contrast like events in cultures.

 

Links to VELS Level 4

Strand Domain Learning Focus

Elements of the Level 4 standards

Students:

Physical, Personal and Social Learning

Health and Physical Education

[Students] consider the various ways that people view each other on the basis of characteristics such as gender, race and religion, as well as qualities such as needs, abilities and aspirations.

Health knowledge and promotion

 … identify and discuss the validity of the ways in which people define their own and other people’s identity.

Interpersonal Development

[Students] develop skills and behaviours for connecting with a variety of groups, including peer and community groups. Students participate in a range of classroom activities where they explore the similarities and differences in the values and beliefs of a range of individuals and groups. They begin to reflect on what this may mean for themselves when building and maintaining relationships with a diverse range of people. They explore and discuss behaviours which demonstrate sensitivity to cultural differences in their interactions with others.

Building social relationships

… demonstrate, through their interactions in social situations, respect for a diverse range of people and groups.

Civics and Citizenship

[Students] ... consider the effects of Australian federation on the democratic rights of different groups of people such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) people, women and non-British migrants.

They consider the experiences of diverse cultural groups, including ATSI communities, and their contributions to Australian identity. They consider the values important in a multicultural society such as respect and tolerance.

Civic knowledge and understanding

… describe the nature of Australia’s democracy that developed as a result of Federation.

... explain the concept of multiculturalism and describe the contribution of various cultural groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, to Australian identity.

Discipline–based Learning

The Arts

[Students] learn about ways to design, improvise, represent, interpret make and present arts works that communicate feelings and their interests and understanding of themselves, their relationships and other people.  They experiment with imaginative and innovative ways of generating ideas and manipulating arts elements, principles and/or conventions to explore the potential of ideas, gaining inspiration from a broad range of sources, including arts works from different cultures, styles and historical contexts.

[Students] begin to research, and with guidance, analyse arts works to interpret and compare key features, symbols and cultural characteristics of arts works in a range of contemporary and traditional forms from different historic, social and cultural contexts.

Creating and making

… communicate ideas and understandings about themselves and others, incorporating influences from their own and other cultures and times.

Exploring and responding

… interpret and compare key features of arts works made in a range of times, places and cultures.

… identify and describe influences on their own works and discuss the purposes for which arts works are created in different historical and cultural contexts.

The Humanities – History

[Students] develop an understanding of change and continuity over time through the history of the establishment and growth of Australia. They learn about the organisation and lifestyle of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the past, the impact of European settlement and as enduring cultures today. They learn about the significance of key events .. They learn about key people in Australia’s history (for example … Caroline Chisholm, William Barak) who have brought about change. Through structured activities they explore links and comparisons with contemporary Australia.

Students develop an understanding of the histories of the cultural groups which have contributed to the Australian identity. This could include some history of source countries for Australian immigration such as Italy, Greece, Poland, Sudan, Ireland, Chile or Vietnam. They explore the concepts of nation, culture and identity in both Australian and regional contexts, and learn that identity is complex, multifaceted and evolving.

Students apply their understanding of culture by investigating the history of an Asian country or countries in the Australian region such as Indonesia, East Timor, India, China and Japan. They consider how other societies are organised, how they express their beliefs and make meaning of their world. They investigate significant people and events in that country’s recent history and learn about daily life, religious traditions, customs and governance. They learn about links between other countries and Australia, develop ideas about Eastern and Western traditions, and about the values that are important to other societies and their own.

Historical knowledge and understanding

… demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of significant events in Australian history including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history …

… demonstrate an understanding of the histories of some cultural groups which make up Australia today.

… make links and appropriate comparisons with contemporary Australia.

… demonstrate an understanding of key aspects of an Asian country or countries within the Australian region.

… explain significant events and people in the history of that country or countries.

… describe aspects of governance, customs, religious traditions and daily life.

… explain the values important to other societies and their own and links between other countries and Australia.

… compare and contrast the values and beliefs of Australians and people of other cultures.

… compare aspects of different cultures and countries, in both the past and present, and ask questions about their own society.

… sequence events and describe their significance in bringing about particular developments.

LOTE Pathway 1

[Students] learn about cultural differences associated with the language other than English. They understand that Australian life and culture are influenced by these different ways of life. They learn why there are similarities and differences between languages, and how these are related.

Intercultural knowledge and language awareness

… apply relevant conversational rules and expectations; for example, those related to politeness.

… demonstrate understanding of cultural differences in writing conventions for specific discourse forms by producing equivalent items in another language.

… interact with members of the language community in Australia as a means of extending their understanding of perspectives on the themes and topics studied in the classroom.

… identify ways in which the language and culture has impacted on Australia and present information in written or oral forms in the language.

Interdisciplinary Learning

Thinking Processes

[Students] make observations and pose questions about people and events within and beyond their own experience, and develop a growing awareness of the complexity of the world around them.

They develop an understanding of how our views are socially constructed and not always based on evidence.

Reasoning, Processing and Inquiry 

… develop their own questions for investigation, collect relevant information from a range of sources and make judgments about its worth.

… distinguish between fact and opinion.

… use the information they collect to develop concepts, solve problems or inform decision making.

… develop reasoned arguments using supporting evidence.

 

Links to VELS Level 5

Strand Domain Learning Focus

Elements of the Level 5 standards

Students:

Physical, Personal and Social Learning

Health and Physical Education

Students describe the health interests and needs of young people as a group … They explore actions at personal, family and societal levels that help to meet these needs, and identify the influences of individuals and groups.

Students reflect on the range of influences on personal food intake: peers, advertising, mass media, mood, convenience, habit, cultural beliefs and values, and access to food products and services. They explore topical issues related to eating, and identify personal and community factors that influence their own food selection.

Health knowledge and promotion

… describe the effect of family and community expectations on the development of personal identity and values.

Interpersonal Development

[Students] develop positive relationships through understanding and respecting others. They participate in activities which enable them to identify the differing values and beliefs held by individuals in local, national and global contexts, and reflect on the impact these may have on relationships …

They continue to identify strategies to build and maintain positive social relationships; for example, by acknowledging and celebrating the diversity of individuals … showing sensitivity to cultural diversity, recognising and … acknowledging the existence and possible implications of different values and beliefs.

Building social relationships

... demonstrate respect for the individuality of others and empathise with others in local, national and global contexts, acknowledging the diversity of individuals.

Civics and Citizenship

Students learn about significant milestones in the development of Australian law, governance and rights. They explore the historical origins of some political rights, such as universal suffrage …

They consider examples of the fight for political rights such as … Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights.

They look at the origins of Australian citizenship and how it can be acquired.

Students examine the ways in which Australians are connected to other people in the Asia–Pacific region and around the world.

Civic knowledge and understanding

… identify significant developments in the governance and achievement of political rights in Australia.

Discipline–based Learning

The Arts

Students explore and respond to arts works from a range of styles, forms, times, traditions and cultures.

Creating and making

… independently and collaboratively, plan, design, improvise, interpret, evaluate, refine, make and present arts works that represent and communicate ideas and purpose.

Exploring and responding

… compare, analyse, evaluate, and interpret the content, meaning and qualities in arts works created in different social, cultural and historical contexts, offering informed responses and opinions and using appropriate arts language.

… describe aspects and requirements of different forms, audiences and traditions, and identify ways that contemporary arts works, including their own, are influenced by cultural and historical contexts.

The Humanities – History

[Students] develop knowledge and understanding about ancient and medieval societies and their role in providing the foundations of modern society. They consider why people at the end of the medieval period set out to discover the unknown world. Ancient societies could include civilisations of China, Rome, Greece and Egypt. Medieval societies could include those from England, Europe, Asia or an Islamic society.

Students explore key concepts of democracy, governance, the rule of law, justice, religion, liberty, authority, leadership, culture and feudalism … They investigate daily life, the role and work of various groups, the division of labour between men and women, education, rituals and family. They explore the values and beliefs of societies through their religions, myths and legends, and their social and political structures. Students examine the ways the culture was expressed through art, music, literature, drama, festivals and education. They learn about key events, significant individuals, and the influence of trade and contact with other cultures.

Students explore the legacies of ancient and medieval societies for contemporary societies.

Historical knowledge and understanding

… analyse and describe key events in ancient and medieval societies.

… describe aspects of daily life in these societies …

… explain key features of community life including myths and legends, religious beliefs and practices and cultural expressions such as art and drama.

… analyse the ways that ancient and medieval societies were governed …

… describe the roles of key individuals and evaluate their contributions and legacies.

… compare key aspects of past and present societies; for example, aspects of daily life, social and political ideas and structures, and cultural values and beliefs.

… demonstrate understanding of key concepts …

… explain the influences of ancient and medieval societies on contemporary societies.

The Humanities – Geography

[Students] use a variety of geographic tools and skills, together with an inquiry-based approach, to investigate the characteristics of the regions of Australia and those surrounding it: Asia, the Pacific and Antarctica …

Students become aware of contrasts within the regions of Australia and those surrounding it from their investigation of a number of smaller regions such as South-East Asia, the South Pacific nations and Papua New Guinea. They develop an appreciation of differences in the culture, living conditions and outlooks of people, including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, in these areas.

Geographic knowledge and understanding

 … demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the characteristics of the regions of Australia and those surrounding it: Asia, the Pacific and Antarctica …

… describe differences in culture, living conditions and outlook, including attitudes to environmental issues, in these regions.

LOTE Pathway 1 and Pathway 2

[Students] develop their understanding that cultural diversity exists and that customs and traditions vary within countries and over time. They understand that these influence Australian life and culture. They also learn about the basic geography and history of the country or countries where the language other than English is used and make comparisons with Australia and other countries associated with the languages they have previously studied.

Students learn why there are similarities and differences between languages, and how these are related. They begin to have a grasp of the history of the language they are studying and its links with other languages.

Intercultural knowledge and language awareness

… actively contribute to the establishment of a physical and language environment in the classroom that reflects the language and culture.

… select, interpret and present knowledge about the language, its speakers, and countries where it is spoken.

… demonstrate understanding of aspects of interpretation and translation by using appropriate language and levels of respect in different circumstances, thus reflecting the relationship between the speakers of the language.

… interact with a variety of speakers of the language, possibly from different countries and communities, including Australia, to gain understanding of diverse views and beliefs within and between these communities.

… demonstrate an understanding of the target culture from an historical perspective leading to an appreciation of ancient life, history and culture associated with the language.

Interdisciplinary Learning

Thinking Processes

[Students] participate in increasingly complex investigations and activities in which they seek evidence to support their conclusions, and investigate the validity of other people’s ideas; for example, by testing the credibility of differing accounts of the same event, questioning conclusions based on very small or biased samples of data, and identifying and questioning generalisations. From such investigations and activities, students learn to make and justify changes to their thinking and develop awareness that others may have perceptions different from their own.

Reasoning, Processing and Inquiry

… use a range of appropriate strategies of reasoning and analysis to evaluate evidence and consider their own and others’ points of view.

 

Links to VELS Level 6

Strand Domain Learning Focus

Elements of the Level 6 standards

Students:

Physical, Personal and Social Learning

Health and Physical Education

Students extend their learning about the major tasks in establishing personal identity. They describe social and cultural factors, such as family, the media, community expectations influencing the development of personal identity, including the development of identity as it relates to gender.

Health knowledge and promotion

... identify and describe a range of social and cultural factors that influence the development of personal identity and values.

Interpersonal Development

[Students] develop their knowledge of local and global values and beliefs and consider the idea of values as social constructs and principles. They explore barriers to achieving positive relationships, especially between groups with differing values and beliefs, and discuss the importance of empathy. They explore strategies that they and others could use to overcome these barriers, and practise using such strategies and reflecting on their effectiveness.

They learn to consider feelings and behaviour in a broader context that is influenced by social conventions and cultures.

Building social relationships

… demonstrate awareness of complex social conventions, behaving appropriately when interacting with others. They describe how local and global values and beliefs determine their own and others’ social relationships.

Civics and Citizenship

Students explore Australia’s multicultural society. They learn about the past and present policies of government in relation to ATSI people and immigration, and the values and beliefs which support a harmonious multicultural society. They explore the concept of Australian identity and the contributions of various cultural groups. They consider the development of Australian citizenship over time and reasons why people choose to become Australian citizens. They link their understanding of multiculturalism to contemporary issues, such as the global refugee problem and population growth.

Civic knowledge and understanding

… explain the development of a multicultural society and the values necessary to sustain it.

Discipline–based Learning

The Arts

[Students] develop aesthetic and critical awareness through observation, research, discussion and analysis of arts works from different social, historical and cultural contexts. They compare arts works to consider similarities and differences in the styles, themes, intentions and aesthetic qualities of works by particular artists and arts works made at a particular time within specific cultural contexts.

Creating and making

… apply their knowledge and understanding to design, create and produce arts works influenced by the style of particular artists and cultures.

Exploring and responding

… observe, research and critically discuss a range of contemporary, traditional, stylistic, historical and cultural examples of arts works in the disciplines and forms in which they are working.

… analyse, interpret, compare and evaluate the stylistic, technical, expressive and aesthetic features of arts works created by a range of artists and made in particular times and cultural contexts.

… describe and discuss ways that their own and others’ arts works communicate and challenge ideas and meaning.

The Humanities – History

[Students] investigate how Australia developed in terms of social, political and cultural structures and traditions. Students examine the impact of European colonisation of Australia, including the representation of that settlement as invasion. They learn about the struggles and successes of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to gain political and social rights, and their campaigns for land rights and self-determination. They learn about the impact of significant issues and events in Australia’s development; for example, … immigration; the development of multiculturalism. They investigate the contribution of significant Australians such as …Charles Perkins.

They learn about the increasingly global interconnections in the twentieth century, international organisations such as the United Nations, and challenges to global security. Key events could include the Russian and Chinese revolutions; the world wars; the Cold War and Cold War conflicts such as the Korean and Vietnam wars; Middle East conflicts; the break up of the Union of Soviet Social Republics; the emergence of the United States as a dominant world power; and conflicts in the late twentieth and the twenty-first centuries. Ideologies could include communism, fascism, capitalism and democracy. Social and cultural movements could include civil rights, feminism, environmentalism and the development of the film and music industries. Key leaders could include Lenin, Hitler, Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, F D Roosevelt, Mao Tse Tung, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi.

Historical knowledge and understanding

… analyse events which contributed to Australia’s social, political and cultural development. These events could include: immigration …

… evaluate the contribution of significant Australians to Australia’s development.

… evaluate the impact of colonisation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the fight for civil and political rights and land rights.

… analyse significant events and movements which have resulted in improvements in civil and political rights for other groups of Australians … and evaluate the contributions of key participants and leaders in these events.

… analyse the impact of some key wars and conflicts in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. These could include the world wars, revolutions, the Cold War and post Cold War conflicts. 

… explain aspects of increasing global interconnections in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

… demonstrate understanding of key ideologies and explain their influence on people’s lives, national events and international relations.

… explain why significant social and cultural movements have developed and evaluate their influence on societies.

The Humanities – Geography

Students investigate the characteristics of development that occur across the globe. They use an inquiry-based approach to explore how combinations of various physical and human factors interact to produce observable and sometimes predictable patterns at local, regional and global scales. Students examine global patterns of development, considering classifications used by United Nation agencies, Non Government Organisations (NGOs) and other organisations, and evaluating the relevance of such classifications at global, national, regional and local scales.

Students research at least two development topics and the impact of globalisation in creating and reducing differences in development levels, for example, through technology transfers, resource use, and indebtedness. Examples of development topics include: poverty; the links between food, hunger and technology; and the social and economic consequences of development in creating rapidly growing cities, mega cities, informal settlements and rural depopulation.

Students investigate and learn to evaluate the impact and/or effectiveness of development-related projects, policies and strategies (such as large-scale water projects, tourism, the use of foreign aid, social reform and population control) on physical and human landscapes, locally, nationally and globally. They apply their knowledge and understanding to provide explanations and justify recommendations about local, national and global situations related to development, and their impact on living standards.

Geographic knowledge and understanding

… describe global patterns of development from a range of perspectives and identify and describe the factors that determine these patterns.

… analyse development issues and formulate and evaluate comprehensive policies, including those for sustainable use and management of resources, to alter development patterns at a range of scales.

LOTE Pathway 2

As students work towards the achievement of standards in LOTE at Pathway 2 Level 6, they compare and contrast aspects of life in the LOTE-speaking countries with those in Australia and other countries, and identify similarities and differences.

Students learn to recognise the extent and limitations of their language proficiency and develop strategies for maximising and extending their language skills, knowledge and cultural understanding.

They understand that language is a complex system with rules, and that there are subtle differences between languages. They appreciate that direct transposition from English cannot occur. They reflect on their own learning styles and strategies….

They are aware of the distinctive cultural, social and linguistic nature of the study of a language. 

Intercultural knowledge and language awareness

… demonstrate understanding of cultural influences on the ways people behave and use language, through approximating accurate and context-sensitive language use.

… use illustrative examples in the language to explain the differences and similarities between languages …

… contribute to discussions about the general concept of culture, and the relation of cultures to each other, including the effects of migration and travel, by presenting illustrative examples in the language.

… identify general cultural patterns that flow across specific settings and times.

… identify nuances in meaning, and demonstrate awareness of the dynamic nature of language through the language and mannerisms they use in interactions in a range of cultural settings.

Interdisciplinary Learning

Thinking Processes

[S]tudents learn to make and justify changes to their thinking and develop awareness that others may have perceptions different from their own. Reasoning, Processing and Inquiry

… use a range of appropriate strategies of reasoning and analysis to evaluate evidence and consider their own and others’ points of view.

 


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