Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread pecan pieces in a shallow baking pan. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until toasted.
Meanwhile, in a chilled medium mixing bowl beat whipping cream with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form; set aside. Prepare pudding mix according to package directions, using the 2 cups milk. If desired, stir in the 3 tablespoons maple syrup. Fold whipped cream into pudding mixture.
Divide pudding mixture among 4 dessert dishes. Top with pear slices. In a small bowl combine the toasted pecans and the 1/3 cup maple syrup. Spoon pecan mixture over pudding and pear slices.