Analysis of the ability to solve problems occupies an important place in recent research within instructional psychology. In the U.S.A. processes of problem solving are now mostly studied within the framework of the informa-tion-processing approach. A European trend in research on thinking and problem solving, that parallels this American work, is based on the action-oriented approach. Until now both approaches have developed independently. A consequen-ce of this situation could be that differences between both conceptions will be accentuated, while points of convergence remain hidden. Therefore it seems desirable to start an exchange of ideas between the two approaches. The present article provides an example in this direction. The example relates to the work of Resnick and Glaser on problem solving in instructional settings on the one hand, and a view developed in the Netherlands during the 70s on the other.