Changing times mean changing professional development

How access to professional development has changed in recent years for NSW high school physics teachers


  • Simon Crook School of Physics, Faculty of Science, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia 2006


Professional Development, High School, Physics Education, Face-to-Face, Online, On-Demand, COVID


Since the release of the then new HSC Physics Syllabus in 2017 (NSW Education Standards Authority, 2017) in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, high school physics teachers have experienced a rapidly evolving landscape for their professional development (PD), dictated by everchanging government legislation, the COVID-19 pandemic, improvements in technology and teacher shortages. This presentation will describe:

  • the demands on NSW teachers to maintain their teacher accreditation (NSW Education Standards Authority, 2022)
  • originally how they would access physics PD on theory and experiments through face-to-face workshops
  • the impact of COVID on access to PD
  • the subsequent rise of online PD due to COVID and improvements in technology
  • the beneficial increase in access to PD for regional teachers due to online delivery
  • the slow return to face-to-face PD post-lockdowns
  • the impact of the recent and ongoing lack of casual teachers on PD participation
  • the consequent necessity for on-demand asynchronous PD alongside face-to-face and live online options
  • the increasing importance of specialized PD in light of the teacher shortage

While certain aspects are idiosyncratic to NSW, many of the points discussed are applicable to jurisdictions the world over.


NSW Education Standards Authority. (2017). Physics stage 6 syllabus

NSW Education Standards Authority. (2022). Maintaining Proficient Teacher

Author Biography

Simon Crook, School of Physics, Faculty of Science, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia 2006

PhD student, Sydney University Physics Education Research (SUPER) group