DR Derek Patton

DR Derek Patton


  • social psychology of language and culture in education (Moral, Virtue Ethics, Gricean Maxims, Blended Space)



  • Derek is a registered psychologist practicing in Doctors’ clinics and schools in Melbourne. His training was in Child and Family psychology with experience in special schools, family court, child protection and secure units for youth in New Zealand. His master’s research was testing The Virtues Projecttm in a preschool funded by a grant from the Bank of New Zealand. His PhD research “Quality talk interactions in preschools” with the Young Learners Project at Melbourne Graduate School of Education followed his interest in how early language interactions develop cultures of thinking for children in schools. Derek’s primary international work is with The Asia Pacific Network for Moral Education as a member of its governance committee and the Virtues Project International Association as its Research chair and Board of Directors member. He is also assisting research projects tracking the roll out of The Virtues Project in schools in Singapore and Thailand.

    The purpose of the Fellowship is to advance research into effective human communication, specifically that which educates moral thinking and behaviour in children in schools and communities. Derek has lead a team in developing the Elevating Language Interactions for Teaching Excellence (ELITE) project to track 600 Melbourne children from preschool age for 20 years through schools and then young adult-hood. This will commence soon.   


Member of

  • Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Psychologist 2011 -
  • New Zealand Psychologists Board. Psychologist 2007 -



Education and training

  • PhD, University of Melbourne 2015
  • PGDipChildFamily Psychology, University of Canterbury 2007
  • M.Ed(Distinction)ChildFamPsych, University of Canterbury 2006
  • BA, University of Canterbury 2004

Awards and honors

  • For PhD research, Australian Postgraduate Award, 2008
  • New Zealand Parliamentary Community Services Certificate, 2006
  • For Masters of Education research in a preschool, Bank of New Zealand, 2006