The thermal dehydroxylation of kaolinite has been reexamined using small sample weights, a homogeneous particle size distribution and high-vacuum conditions in order to reduce the influences of heat and mass-transfer phenomena. The controlled rate thermal analysis (CRTA) technique, which was specially developed to minimize the pressure and temperature gradients through the sample, was employed to carry out meaningful kinetic experiments. Two advanced isoconversional methods, the Vyazovkin and the Galwey methods, were used complementarily to determine the dependence of the activation energy on the degree of conversion. For this purpose, the Vyazovkin method has been adapted to CRTA experiments. It was demonstrated that there are at least two different stages, revealing the multistep nature of this reaction. The activation energy for the first step, which is assigned to nucleation and the growth of nuclei, decreases from 100 to 75 kJ/mol. The second stage corresponds to a diffusion process and the activation energy rises to 120 kJ/mol because of the metakaolinite formation, which closes the interlamellar channels and leaves isolated patches of kaolinite from which the water escapes with difficulty.