Craig joined the University of Sydney as a historian of education in 1994. He has researched and written extensively in the history of Australian secondary education and adolescence. In recent times he has also written on educational sociology and policy.
His work was recognised on three occasions by funding from the Australian Research Council.
Craig has been a significant office bearer within the Australian and New Zealand History of Education Society, and the International Standing Conference of the History of Education.
Before becoming an academic, Craig was a high-school teacher and teacher union leader in South Australia. His doctorate was completed in the period 1991–1993 at the University of Adelaide. Its topic was a regionally based exploration of the history of adolescence and secondary schooling in the 20th century.
During his academic career Craig led teams teaching educational history, sociology of education and social science research methods. In 2009 he retired from paid academic work and accepted an invitation to become Honorary Associate Professor.
His research continues. With Helen Proctor he has recently completed the first general history of Australian schooling published since 1980.
In 2013 he assumed the cordinating editorship of the History of Education Review. Also in 2013 he co-planned, edited and published DEHANZ: Dictionary of Educational History in Australia and New Zealand.
His new book project, with Associate Professor Debra Hayes, is a biography of Jean Blackburn (1919-2001). Blackburn was the most significant woman policy maker for education in Australia in the twentieth century. As the main writer of two Karmel reports in the 1970s, and full-time Australian Schools Commissioner with major responsibility for the Disadvantaged Schools Program, her biography will contribute to the historical understanding of educational policy in Australia. Monash University Press will publish it in 2019.