The SASHT decided to follow the path/focus of history as discipline in general when it was decided to determine the role of the SASHT. The role of history in general will always be to serve the general community, the educational sector, and history as science in the best/most improved or innovative ways of the time.
For the newly-founded SASHT in 1986, the purpose of its existence was mainly to:
- improve contacts between educators of training at tertiary level with teachers in the broad educational field;
- renew training in the didactics/methodology of history education;
- utilise the expertise of educators teaching history to assist with the training of future history teachers;
- debate continuously the content of basic and advanced educational programmes in the training of history teachers with the intention to continue to improve quality;
- make history educators and student teachers aware of the relation between history as academic discipline and the didactics/methodology of teaching history at school level to keep abreast with development and academic debates;
- encourage educators of history to strive towards achieving and sustaining high academic standards in the teaching methodology and approach towards, amongst others, controversial topics; and
- make educators of history and student teachers in history aware of the relevance/value of History for the existence of communities and nations in general.
The basic activities of the SASHT were the publication of Yesterday and Today and the organising of a bi-annual conference. In a sense a recognition of changed times and a need for having regular workshops (also then to act as a marketing opportunity for the SASHT) were neglected in the past. The year 2006 marked the beginning of a new approach towards history workshops within the SASHT of which the fruit will be evaluated in the years to come.